Arcosanti, Arizona

Arcosanti, Arizona

February 2014

Arcosanti, an hour north of Phoenix, is an experimental city and bronze bell foundry. It was started by Italian Architect Paolo Soleri in 1970. Soleri coined the term "arcology," meaning the combination of architecture and ecology to create living environments that are both people-friendly and earth-friendly. Soleri died in 2013.

Arcosanti entrance.

This model shows Soleri's vision for a compact city of 5000 people, surrounded by acres of open space. About 5% has been built so far.

About 60 people currently live here full-time, working or studying. Residents can choose to eat in the dining hall or cook food in their apartment.

The complex includes living quarters in various shapes and sizes.

The buildings are designed to have desert views and to take advantage of passive solar heating and cooling.

A front porch. Soleri loved round windows.

He also loved arches. This is a community gathering space.

Colorful designs brighten the concrete structures.

The amphitheater hosts theatrical and musical performances.

A greenhouse (above) and swimming pool and hot tub (below). The community grows about 10% of its food.

The open-air ceramics studio stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Soleri is also known for his bronze bells. They have a beautiful tone.

People come from all over the world to work in the bell foundry. You can watch them pour bells at 10:00 each morning.

Bronze bells ready for assembly.

Almost 900 acres of desert surround the Arcosanti buildings.

Soleri was ahead of his time in envisioning compact, walkable communities surrounded by open space.