Italian-born architect Paolo Soleri, who began building a futuristic community called Arcosanti north of Phoenix more than 40 years ago but never completed it, died Tuesday. He was 93.
Officials of the Cosanti Foundation said Soleri died of natural causes at his Paradise Valley home.
Soleri broke ground on Arcosanti in 1970 on the basalt cliffs overlooking the Agua Fria River in Cordes Junction about 70 miles north of Phoenix.
Soleri had said he dreamed of buildings and people interacting as a “highly evolved being.” The sun would warm residents, the breeze would cool them and nature would surround them. The buildings would soar, reaching toward the sky with small apartments and large public spaces.
Soleri preached community and conservation. Arcosanti would be his experiment of thousands of people living together on 860 acres of desert to teach the world how to grow. He called the vision “arcology,” a word he invented combining architecture and ecology.
But the futuristic community is only about 5 percent complete and fewer than 90 people live at Arcosanti.
There are 14 primary buildings — including some housing units, a foundry, a music center and a drafting-studio complex — plus a swimming pool with a greenhouse now being built.
“I would have been crazy if I thought it would be this slow,” Soleri told The Arizona Republic in 2010. “I am a prisoner of my own age.”
Winner of Best Public Project: Musical Instrument Museum
Since 1978 RSP Architects has been creating spaces nationally and internationally. With offices in Phoenix, Minneapolis, Rochester, Minn., China and India, RSP employs more than 200 people — and one penguin. The firm has worked with companies around the globe and has a diverse portfolio ranging from the spectacular Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale to work with the U.S. military.
RSP’s No. 1 goal is to provide excellent service to its clients. RSP not only designs the space, it understands the space. This can be seen in the corporate environments it creates where it makes the environment more productive, yet still comfortable; or in the museums it designs where it makes sure the acoustics are just right; even in the schools it creates with an environment to spark curiosity and inspire students to achieve.
RSP architects not only strive to make it’s building beautiful and useful, but also sustainable. The firm believes “sustainable design is inherent within any good, smart building design.” RSP is committed to the 2030 Challenge, which requires architecture firms to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment. RSP also has completed 12 LEED certified projects.
With more than 30 years of experience, RSP Architects has developed key criteria when working with a client. RSP believes stewardship, discipline and adaptability will create results.
RSP is committed to success.