Tag Archives: Arcosanti

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Arcosanti founder Soleri dies

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.”

Photo: Tomiaki Tamura

Top 5: Uniquely Arizona Adventures (Fall-Winter 2012)

The Top 5 Uniquely Arizona Adventures — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Besh-Ba-Gowah

1324 Jess Hayes Rd.,
Globe, AZ 85501
(928) 425-0320
globeaz.gov/visitors/besh-ba-gowah
Visitors walk through a 700-year-old Salado Culture pueblo, climb ladders to second story rooms and view the typical furnishings of the era. Artifacts are also displayed in the Besh-Ba-Gowah Museum.


Hubbell Trading Post

1 mile west of Hwy. 191,
Ganado, AZ 86505
(928) 755-3475
nps.gov/hutr
Feel the old wooden floor give slightly and squeak beneath your feet as you enter the oldest, continuously operating trading post on the Navajo Nation. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting of the “bullpen,” you might catch the trader negotiating a deal with a Native American artist for their art.


Rawhide Western Town At Wild Horse Pass

5700 W. North Loop Rd.,
Chandler, AZ 85226
(480) 502-5600
rawhide.com
Arizona’s largest Western-themed attraction, with desert stagecoach and train rides, rock climbing, mechanical bull and more. Theatrical performances include shootouts, gun twirling and musical performances.


Arcosanti

HC 74, Box 4136,
Mayer, AZ 86333
(928) 632-7135
arcosanti.org
In 1970, the Cosanti Foundation began building Arcosanti, an experimental town in the high desert of Arizona, 70 miles north of metropolitan Phoenix. When complete, Arcosanti will house 5,000 people, demonstrating ways to improve urban conditions and lessen our destructive impact on the earth.


Mystery Castle

800 E. Mineral Rd.,
Phoenix, AZ 85042
(602) 268-1581
roadsideamerica.com/tip/94
This unusual piece of architecture, built from recycled bottles, granite and bricks in the 1930s, is a tribute from a father to his daughter. Largely constructed of native stone, the 8,000-square-foot castle contains 13 fireplaces, 18 rooms and various features of interest. Southwestern antiques furnish this unique facility.

Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

 

Cosanti Windbells

Experience The Wind At Cosanti Originals

As visitors enter Cosanti Originals, they are met by the sounds of hammers and metal saws. Famed architect, artist and philosopher Paolo Soleri and his students built the Cosanti gallery in the 1950s. Soleri, who retired from the Cosanti Foundation last year, has created notable destinations around Arizona, including Arcosanti, which is a series of buildings built in the desert that work to study the connection and people living harmoniously with the environment. He also designed “Soleri Bridge” in Old Town Scottsdale, which highlights the sun by casting different shadows depending on the time of year and day.

At Cosanti, which means “against” or “before things,” visitors get a chance to tour the gallery where Paolo Soleri Windbells are created and sold. While Soleri has retired, his students continue his work, and visitors are able to watch the creation of the different types of sculptures, pots, bowls, tiles and Windbells. After watching the process, visitors are even able to purchase one of their own.

Visitors can either stroll through the gallery at their own pace, as long as they stay on the red brick path; or they can call ahead to reserve a guided tour where visitors will be educated about the history of Cosanti and the creation of the different types of Windbells.

For more information about Cosanti Originals, visit cosanti.com.

 
If You Go: Cosanti Originals
6433 E. Double Tree Ranch Rd.
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
(480) 948-6145
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Top 5 Uniquely Arizona (Spring-Summer 2012)

Top 5: Uniquely Arizona (Spring-Summer 2012)

The Top 5 Uniquely Arizona — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Arcosanti

HC 74, Box 4136,
Mayer, AZ 86333
928-632-7135
arcosanti.org
In 1970, the Cosanti Foundation began building Arcosanti, an experimental town in the high desert of Arizona, 70 miles north of metropolitan Phoenix. When complete, Arcosanti will house 5,000 people, demonstrating ways to improve urban conditions and lessen our destructive impact on the earth.


Hubbell Trading Post

1 mile West of Hwy. 191,
Ganado, AZ 86505
928-755-3475
nps.gov/hutr
Feel the old wooden floor give slightly and squeak beneath your feet as you enter the oldest, continuously operating trading post on the Navajo Nation. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting of the “bullpen,” you might catch the trader negotiating a deal with a Native American artist for their art.


Mystery Castle

800 E. Mineral Rd.,
Phoenix, AZ 85042
602-268-1581
roadsideamerica.com/tip/94
This unusual piece of architecture, built from recycled bottles, granite and bricks in the 1930s, is a tribute from a father to his daughter. Largely constructed of native stone, the 8,000-square-foot castle contains 13 fireplaces, 18 rooms and various features of interest. Southwestern antiques furnish this unique facility.


Besh Ba Gowah

1324 Jess Hayes Rd.,
Globe, AZ 85501
928-425-0320
globeaz.gov/visitors/besh-ba-gowah
Visitors walk through a 700-year-old Salado
Culture pueblo, climb ladders to second story rooms and view the typical furnishings of the era. Artifacts are also displayed in the Besh-Ba-Gowah Museum.


Rawhide Western Town At Wild Horse Pass

5700 W. North Loop Rd.,
Chandler, AZ 85226
480-502-5600
rawhide.com
Arizona’s largest Western-themed attraction, with desert stagecoach and train rides, rock climbing, mechanical bull and more. Theatrical performances include shootouts, gun twirling and musical performances.

Experience AZ Spring-Summer 2012

Architecutral Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Architectural Achievements – Arizona's Centennial

Arizona’s Architectural Achievements

Masterpieces of style and design have graced Arizona’s diverse landscape for the past 100 years.

Maybe it’s the year-round beautiful weather, or perhaps the diversity of the state itself. No matter the reason, Arizona has undeniably mastered architectural innovation and splendor.

Over the past 100 years, buildings of every purpose and design have decorated city skylines and added artistic elements to the already magnificent desert. Achieving both visual superiority and sustainability, architectural achievements in Arizona range from remote chapels to huge office complexes. AZRE’s Centennial Series celebrates the end of commemorating the past 100 years by honoring these truly remarkable accomplishments.

Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse
Architect: Richard Meier
Year: 2000

The Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse is hard to miss with a six-story wall of glass splendor. The courthouse’s drum-shaped special proceedings courtroom follows the glass trend with a circular-lens ceiling. This modern architectural achievement reflects a monochrome and sleek style of construction. Most impressively, the courthouse integrates an innovative cooling system in order for climate control. This evaporative system brings outside air into the atrium and under the roof, where it travels to the courthouse block.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Burton Barr Library
Architect: Bruder and DWL Architects
Year: 1995

With 280,000 SF distributed over five levels, the Burton Barr Library is a grand sight. Unique architectural touches throughout the library are influenced by both nature and trends in global design. The building’s shape is inspired by Monument Valley’s scenic beauty, with a curving copper mesa split by a stainless steel canyon. A spacious atrium with nine skylights known as The Crystal Canyon allows for the flow of natural sunlight. Shade sails fashioned by sail makers in Maine and accents of bright blue Venetian plaster establish a one-of-a-kind feel for visitors. A “floating ceiling” suspended by cables over the Great Reading Room creates a special ambience that cannot be replicated.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Taliesin West
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Year: 1937

Famous for his fusion of artistic beauty and practical functionality, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is no exception. Originally designed as Wright’s winter home, studio and architectural campus, Taliesin West is headquarters for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Located in northeast Scottsdale, it brings life and light to the foothills with an integration of indoor and outdoor spaces. Dramatic terraces, gardens and walkways overlooking the Sonoran Desert connect all parts of Taliesin West in a scenic fashion. As the sun sets and nighttime approaches, its structures are lit from within to produce a breathtakingly luminous effect.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Luhrs Building
Architect: Trost & Trost
Year: 1924

Located in Downtown Phoenix, the 10-story Luhrs Building was designed by the El Paso architectural firm Trost & Trost. Following its construction, the top four floors were reserved for the Arizona Club, including a dining room, lounges, bedrooms and other conveniences for members. It provided space for the Arizona Club until 1971. Floors below were leased as office space. The building is uniquely L-shaped and covered with brown brick on its exterior. Elaborate marble detailing decorates the uppermost two floors, and a heavy cornice sets off the top. The Luhrs Building continues to be one of Downtown Phoenix’s most memorable buildings, and serves as a landmark for the city’s past.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011The Arizona Biltmore
Architect: Albert Chase McArthur
Year: 1929

Crowned “The Jewel of the Desert,” the Arizona Biltmore is the sole existing hotel to have a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design. Upon its construction, the hotel represented luxury and extravagance. A geometric pattern in the building resembling a palm tree, fine furniture, carpets and murals are some of the Biltmore’s defining amenities. Constant renovations and additions, including a 20,000 SF spa, have kept the hotel an oasis for celebrities, politicians and world travelers. It recently received the Urban Land Institute’s “Heritage Award of Excellence” for architectural superiority as well as overall quality of service.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Chapel of the Holy Cross
Architect: Anshen & Allen
Year: 1956

This spiritual structure serves as a landmark not only in Sedona, but for all of Arizona. Marguerite Bruswig Staude was inspired to design a place of worship as thanks to her creator. After traveling to Europe with her husband in hope of finding the ideal place, she returned to the U.S. where Sedona’s beauty overtook her. Perched on a twin pinnacle spur jutting out from a 1,000-foot wall of rock, the Chapel sits surrounded by red mountains. The Chapel has been maintained by the Diocese of Phoenix and St. John Vianney parish since 1969.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Farmer Studios
Architect: Architekton
Year: 2004

Farmer Studios continuously proves to be the epitome of a sustainable building. The economical “flex” creates a pedestrian environment between Tempe and the Sunset/Riverside residential area. Every aspect of functionality was taken into consideration with the design. Retail, office and residential studios are all possibilities for this truly flexible space. With a “gravel pave” parking system to reduce the heat island effect, a sunken courtyard for rainwater retention and custom shade devices for sun protection, Farmer Studios is a prototypical example of modern sustainability.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Arcosanti
Architect: Paolo Soleri
Year: 1970-present

The experimental town of Arcosanti developed by Paolo Soleri combines architecture and ecology like never before through “arcology.” This innovative project, some 70 miles north of Phoenix, demonstrates ways to improve an urban atmosphere while minimizing environmental damage. Arcosanti is both visually and scientifically impressive, projecting a practical yet unique way of living. Greenhouses in Arcosanti not only provide garden space, but also serve as solar collectors. Apartments, businesses, production, technology, open space and studios are all included in the town, offering a complex and creative environment for visitors.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011University of Arizona Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
Architect: Gould Evans
Year: 2003

Honored with a 2003 Citation Award from AIA Arizona, the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre is an architectural treasure in Tucson. This 28,600 SF complex on the University of Arizona campus boasts a 300-seat theatre, orchestra pit, an outdoor stage, fly tower and control suite, catwalks and indoor/outdoor lobby, as well as scene and costume shops. A unique glass box located on the second floor functions as a display window to the outdoor campus mall. Dancers’ shadows are visible moving from the catwalk to the dance studio, portraying the importance of movement.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Prayer Pavilion of Light
Architect: DeBartalo Architects
Year: 2007

This tranquil chapel welcomes visitors from all over Phoenix. A true “place of light,” the structure is a 2,500 SF glass box bordered by courtyards. Providing extensive views of the city, the chapel appears to glow brightly at night and can be seen from miles away. DeBartalo Architects intentionally isolated the building on a hill to create serenity. The zigzagging path leading to the pavilion is lined with tall steel plates, creating a unique tunnel effect. A reflection pool and enormous steel cross serve as defining features for the Prayer Pavilion of Light, making every visit one of visual superiority.

AZRE Magazine November/December 2011