Sunday, April 4, 2010


We recently stopped by both Cosanti near Scottsdale, Arizona
 and the better known Arcosanti about 50 miles north of there.

Cosanti which I will cover in a future post is the home
 and workshop of Paolo Soleri ( who just turned 90 years old )
 and Arcosanti is his urban laboratory where he is experimenting
 with more efficient alternatives to the homes we live in in this country
 and the sprawl they produce.

Arcosanti was started almost 40 years ago 
and only a small fraction of the original plan has been finished. 
But it is an urban laboratory and it has certainly added 
to our ideas about how we live and what we live in.

This photo is taken from Arcosanti towards the Agua Fria River.
 The field in the center is part of the property.
 Arcosanti is built over a narrow rock lined canyon 
and as such reminds me of the Indian cliff dwellings
 found in the southwestern United States.

Soleri has a gift for form and is one of the foremost masters
 in the use of formed in place and preformed concrete.

There are a lot of circles at Arcosanti.

Above two workers are pouring brass into sand forms to make bells.
This is one of the main forms of money to finance Arcosanti
 and is what originally gave Soleri the financial freedom
 to pursue his dream of experimenting
with the urban laboratory.
 He also developed a method for forming ceramic bells.

Above is sort of the commercial district with the bottom area
to be store fronts with apartments above.
All of this fronts an amphitheater area
 where concerts and other performances are held.

Another commons area this arch was formed in place
 using sand castings on top of a scaffold.
As I said above Soleri is a master of cast concrete.
 The coloring in the concrete comes from putting pigment
on top of the sand before the concrete is poured.

A close up of the commercial area,
I am not sure if this is used as a residence or some sort of business.

This is the entrance to one of the apartments.
The living areas looked very nice and interesting.
In the future I hope to do more posts on Arcosanti
and soon I will show Cosanti.

Tomorrow we are back on the road.

To see an update on Arcosanti go to my post:
N.Y. Times Article Updates Arcosanti
from February 19th, 2012.