ART

SOLERI%2C+PAOLO

SOLERI, PAOLO
SOLERI, PAOLO
ITALY

View Artist's Products
(Born in Turin, Italy on June 21, 1919) was awarded his Ph.D. with highest honors in architecture from the Politecnico di Torino in 1946. He visited the United States in 1947 and spent a year-and-a-half in fellowship with Frank Lloyd Wright in Taiesin West in Arizona, and at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. During this time, he gained international recognition for a bridge design displayed at the Museum of Modern Art and published in The Architecture of Bridges by Elizabeth Mock.

He returned to Italy in 1950 where he was commissioned to build a large ceramics factory, "Ceramica Artistica Solimene." The processes he became familiar with in the ceramics industry led to his award-winning designs of ceramic and bronze windbells and siltcast architectural structures. For over 30 years, the proceeds from the windbells have provided funds for construction to test his theoretical work.

In 1956 he settled in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his late wife, Colly, and their two daughters. Dr. and Mrs. Soleri made a life-long commitment to research and experimentation in urban planning, establishing the Costani Foundation, a not-for-profit educational foundation. Soleri's philosophy and works have been strongly influence by the Jesuit paleontonogist and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

The Foundation's major project is Arcosanti, a planned community for 5,000 people designed by Soleri, under construction since 1970. Located near Cordes Junction, about 70 miles north of Phoenix and visible from Interstate I-17 in central Arizona, the project is based on Soleri's concept of "Arcology," architecture coherent with ecology. An arcology is a hyperdense city designed to maximize human interaction; maximize access to shared, cost-effective infrastructural services like water and sewage; minimize the use of energy, raw materials and land; reduce waste and environmental pollution; and allow interaction with the surrounding natural environment. Arcosanti is the prototype of the desert arcology.

Since 1970, over 6000 people have participated in Arcosanti's construction. Their international affiliation group is called theArcosanti Arcology Network (alternate URL: http://www.arcologycentral.org). As of 2005 Arcosanti stands some fraction of 1% complete.

A landmark exhibition, "The Architectural Visions of Paolo Soleri," organized in 1970 by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C, traveled extensively in the US and Canada, breaking records for attendance. "Two Suns Arcology, A Concept for Future Cities" opened at the Xerox Square Center in Rochester, New York, in 1976. In 1989 "Paolo Soleri Habitats: Ecologic Minutiae," and exhibition of arcologies, space habitats and bridges, was presented at the New York Academy of Sciences. Most recently, "Soleri's Cities, Architecture for the Planet Earth and Beyond" was featured at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in Scottsdale, AZ. His work has been exhibited worldwide.