Remembering Paolo Soleri
By Aaron Britt / Published by Dwell
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A student of Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1940s, Soleri settled in the Southwest in the mid-1950s. He built his studio Cosanti in 1956 in Paradise Valley, Arizona. The concrete domes that comprise the five-acre campus are home to the making of his famous Soleri bells which are cast in bronze or clay. In 1970 he founded Arcosanti, a large-scale experiment in urban planning and sustainable design that is still nowhere near complete. Soleri is perhaps most notable for his vision of dense new cities where nature and the built environment live as one. In the sprawling suburbs of Southwest he imagined a new way to live and to build, one where structure was in harmonic balance with nature.

Remembering Paolo Soleri

We are sad to report that the visionary Italian architect, urban planner, and sustainability advocate died today at the age of 93. His most ambitious work is the community Arcosanti some 65 miles outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and the exemplar of his philosophy of Arcology, a brand of building that marries architecture and ecology.

In this long video from Arcosanti you'll get a medatative view of what Soleri and his colleagues have been making for decades.

This preview for the film Before Form: The Creative World of Paolo Soleri also gives a fantastic glimpse of Soleri's life and impact. Be forewarned, it's from a Kickstarter campaign, but as it reached its funding goal we can all now wait for it to be released.

Aaron Britt


Aaron writes the men's style column "The Pocket Square" for the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for the New York Times, the Times Magazine, Newsweek, National Geographic and others.

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