Soleri

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Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri 21 June — 9 April made his name as a countercultural icon and urban visionary, best known for his theory of "arcology"—a combination of architecture and ecology—and for Arcosanti , the prototype town in the Arizona desert which embodied his ideals and became his life's work, which he founded in and continued to work on right up until his death in How much space do we really need to take up in order to have rich and rewarding lives?

In this short documentary for The Atlantic , filmmaker Sam Price-Waldman visits Arcosanti , the revolutionary experimental community and urban laboratory envisioned by architect Paolo Soleri. Since its founding by Soleri in the northern Arizona desert in , the city has grown and evolved as it has demonstrated how to create a walkable, social city that could meet the needs of future societies.

The video is narrated by architect and Arcosanti co-president Jeff Stein, who explains how the city is able to maximize the potential of architecture for providing for communities, and features interviews with several Arcosanti community members. A glass house in the desert?

Was it an architectural caprice, a folly, or was it a solution to the problems of desert living whose appropriateness is still not recognized? Having had the experience of living in The Dome for a full year, through all the seasons, I felt it incumbent upon myself to take a fresh look at this remarkable work of architecture.

Paolo Soleri , its designer, was born in in Turin, received a PhD in architecture from the Torino Politecnico, and in came to America to study with Frank Lloyd Wright, remaining with him for just over a year. Mark Mills, who assisted Soleri in the construction of The Dome, was born in , received an architectural engineering degree from the University of Colorado, and studied with Wright for four years.

It was at Taliesin that Soleri and Mills became friends.

by Richard Whittaker, May 12, 2001

In , when they and two other apprentices were working on an experimental structure at Taliesin West, which became what is known as the Sun Cottage, there was a misunderstanding with Wright that led to all four of them leaving. Soleri and Mills went to work with a developer, providing design work for some condominiums at the base of Camelback Mountain, below the north face in Paradise Valley.

Soleri developed a scheme that involved a tower element supporting a hex form canopy and he and Mills built a mockup of Camelback out of concrete block and wood. In , SMoCA initiated a series of three exhibitions exploring the trajectory of Paolo Soleri's art, architecture and philosophy. This exhibition begins in the early s when Soleri shifted his focus from bridges and residences to large-scale urban planning based on environmental accountability. In Mesa City, Soleri combines the goals of high-density living, a vibrant urban space, respect for natural resources and a commercial sector based upon creativity.

But his exalted manifestos on a revolutionary lifestyle of complex but compact cities where cars are not needed and more of the natural landscape is preserved made him one of the most recognized names in architecture and design. Few of his projects have been built, but it was his exalted manifestos that made him one of the most recognized names in architecture and design. Just off Interstate 17 in Cordes Junction, Ariz.

Soleri envisioned more than 5, people living in the complex. It never achieved Soleri's full vision, though it continues to operate and evolve with his goals in mind. Soleri's impact can be seen — and heard — across the area.

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It is the only completed bridge of the hundreds he designed. And thousands of residents treasure their "Soleri Bells," unique cast-bronze wind-bells that are prized for their purity of tone. Soleri began designing and selling them half a century ago to finance Arcosanti. Architect Will Bruder likened Soleri to Leonardo da Vinci, the prolific Renaissance painter, sculptor and architect, for his breadth of work on paper and his influential ideas. He will be remembered for hundreds of years.

Paolo Soleri obituary

Bruder, who came to Arizona to work with Soleri in and , spent last Wednesday morning visiting Soleri at his home in Paradise Valley, where he had taken to staying in bed. Soleri studied with Wright at Taliesin West from to Yet he disagreed with the master architect's vision of a utopian suburbia reliant on the automobile, a concept Wright called "Broadacre City. As a result of their sprawl, they literally transform the Earth, turning farms into parking lots, and waste enormous amounts of time and energy transporting people, goods and services over their expanses.

He married Woods' daughter, Colly, the same year.

They had two daughters, Kristine and Daniela. Colly Soleri died in Born in Turin, Italy, Paolo Soleri returned to his home country in There, he studied solar energy and completed several architectural commissions, including a lauded sculptural-ceramics factory on the coast south of Naples. He returned to Arizona in , the same year he founded the Cosanti Foundation.

Soleri distrusted affluent suburbia. But urban sprawl grew to surround his Paradise Valley, Ariz. A collection of concrete domes set into the Earth has grown amid the paloverde trees, mesquite, prickly pear and saguaro. Cosanti also features a foundry that produces the famous Soleri Bells.

Each is cast in bronze or clay and is unique.

Official Dedication: Soleri Bridge and Plaza (2010)

Implementing Wright's idea of using apprentices, people work at the foundries at Cosanti and Arcosanti pouring about pounds of molten bronze a day into the sand molds to make the bells. Until recently, Soleri had divided his time between the weathered, wood-frame house on the Cosanti property and his Arcosanti creation north of Phoenix.