Saturday, April 13, 2013

Visionary architect Paolo Soleri has died at 93

Arcosanti was designed with Paolo Soleri's concept of "Arcology" in mind. Arcology tries to keep architecture coherent with ecology.

Visionary architect Paolo Soleri, the Italian-born designer of the experimental city called Arcosanti in the high desert 60 miles north of Phoenix, died Tuesday. He was 93.

Soleri, one of the few remaining direct disciples of Frank Lloyd Wright, actually saw few of his projects built. 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.
Dec. 10, 2010: Architect Paolo Soleri, sitting, listens to live music at the Soleri Bridge and Plaza Celebration in Scottsdale.

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.

“If you are truly concerned about the problems of pollution, waste, energy depletion, land, water, air and biological conservation, poverty, segregation, intolerance, population containment, fear and disillusionment: Join us,” says the poster at Arcosanti’s entrance.

Just off Interstate 17 in Cordes Junction, Arcosanti is an urban project that explores the possibilities of future city life in concrete and steel. Soleri envisioned more than 5,000 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 also be seen — and heard — across the Valley. Among his completed projects is a $3.5million pedestrian bridge in Scottsdale, Soleri Bridge and Plaza, southwest of Camelback and Scottsdale roads. It is the only completed bridge of the hundreds he designed.

Visionary architect Paolo Soleri has died at 93

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