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Continuing the Architectural Legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright

Updated: Jan 17

Taliesin Architects (TA) was the continuation of the practice of architecture established by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1893. TA originally known as Taliesin Associated Architects, was founded by the apprentices of Frank Lloyd Wright after his death in 1959. Frank Lloyd Wright was the most influential figure in the architectural movements of the twentieth century generating over 1,000 designs of which 650 commissions were built. His works and writings influenced architects worldwide. His successor firm, TA, was associated with key projects throughout the US, such as the Ascension Lutheran Church in Arizona, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Florida, Mesa Convention Center in Florida, the Gammage auditorium in Arizona and the LIFE 1997 Dream House and numerous custom homes. Being a revolutionary architect, Wright encountered numerous obstacles in his design career. One such case was that of the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison Wisconsin. Wright first designed and proposed the project in 1938; however, it was rejected by the Dane County board by a single vote. Wright continued to seek support for the plan and went to great lengths to receive approval, including several alterations to his design; however, after 4 attempts over twenty years he remained unsuccessful, eventually passing away in 1959 without witnessing the construction of his much sought-after and acclaimed design.

Nearly sixty years after Wright's original design offering, the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center finally saw itself completed in 1997 in no small part due to the design team leadership and project management skills of R. Nicholas Loope, FAIA, a Harvard Business School, and Yale educated architect. Loope’s tenure at Taliesin Architects began in 1989. He was the first titular leader of the architectural practice who had not apprenticed under Wright. As Taliesin Architect’s president and principal architect, Loope played a pivotal role in gaining NAAB accreditation and NCARB recognition for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, securing numerous grants and gifts for the historic preservation of the two landmark Taliesin campuses in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Scottsdale Arizona, expanding the branded products licensing program, restructuring the architectural practice itself  and completing numerous unbuilt projects such as  Monona Terrace in Madison Wisconsin, the Nakoma Clubhouse in California, the King Kamehameha Clubhouse in Maui Hawaii, and the Lykes house restoration in Phoenix Arizona.

Born on July 7, 1949, in Washington D.C, Loope completed his Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Maryland in 1973 and a master’s degree in environmental design from Yale in 1975. In 1981, Loope completed the Harvard Business School PMD (Program for Management Development) in business administration, finance, management, and operations. His career began in the offices of renowned American architect Charles W. Moore, FAIA, allowing Loope to investigate architectural design on a profound level of making place and memory. Before taking charge at Taliesin Architects, Loope served as a vice president and general manager of the Solector Corporation in 1976 and the president of Highland Products Corporation in 1985. In addition to the projects undertaken during his tenure at Taliesin Architects, Loope has been associated with a wide range of notable projects, including his personal residence Desert Arc, numerous projects at the Sanctuary Resort and Spa - Paradise Valley, AZ, the Faculty Club - Arizona State University, 420 Roosevelt historic renovation, and adaptive reuse, the Life Dream House 1997 while at Taliesin along with numerous custom single-family residences both here and abroad.

In 1997, after completing the restructuring and turnaround at Taliesin, Loope took up the role of CEO and managing principal of the Durrant Group, propelling their practice portfolio and geographical reach to new heights. In 2002, he established HL Design Build, LLC, a regional design-build, and real estate development firm focusing on one-of-a-kind residences, boutique hotels, and historic preservation work. In the same year, he founded R. Nicholas Loope, FAIA, LLC, a management consulting firm that focused on real estate portfolio management, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, ownership, management transitions, and turnarounds.

In 2010, he assisted Hami Global International in the selection and acquisition of Otak. He subsequently led the company through a rigorous reorganization, expanding its practice platforms, and solidifying it as an international E&A firm, earning a spot on the ENR 200. Most recently in 2022, together with his wife, nationally acclaimed Interior Designer, Lynne Beyer they established:

The STUDIO @ Westmoreland Farm™ a multiple-discipline design & procurement firm. The STUDIO is housed in the 1902 carriage barn, designed by James Gamble Rogers as part of the A B Dick estate in Lake Forest, IL.

Providing architectural design, interior design, planning, procurement, and real estate development services in over 450 projects throughout North America and in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, mainland China, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Mexico, and Hong Kong, Loope is what one would call a master practitioner in the field of architecture and real estate development.

A scholarship at Scottsdale Community College in the name of R. Nicholas Loope, FAIA, is awarded annually for professional promise and scholastic achievement in Architectural Technologies. Loope has also been featured as a speaker at numerous academic or professional regional and national conferences addressing the critical issues of real estate development, design/build practices, land use policies, energy use strategies, architectural design and practice, and architectural education.

Loope has served in multiple positions as a tenured member of the faculty in the College of Architecture and Design at Arizona State University throughout his 22-year academic career. Furthermore, he has authored and co-authored over 30 articles, papers, and book chapters addressing real estate development, professional practice, energy strategies, and architectural education, which have been published in leading national and regional professional journals, business journals, lifestyle magazines, and newspapers. Most recently the works of Loope and his wife and partner Lynne Beyer have been featured in the recent Cramer, and Simpson’s book, Small Firm Success, published by Wren Editions.

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