architecture + ecology
Visionary architect Paolo Soleri began building Arcosanti, his utopian city n the desert, in 1970 and continued to work on this “arcology” (“architecture + “ecology”) until his death at 93 in 2013.
Arcosanti is an urban laboratory focused on innovative design, community, and environmental accountability. Our goal is to actively pursue lean alternatives to urban sprawl based on Paolo Soleri's theory of compact city design, Arcology (architecture + ecology).
Built by over 7,000 volunteers since the commencement of the project in 1970, Arcosanti provides various mixed-use buildings and public spaces where people live, work, visit, and participate in educational and cultural programs.
60 miles north of Phoenix, AZ, Arcosanti is an experimental city designed and built by Italian-born architect Paolo Soleri. It was developed as demonstration site for Arcology Theory, integrating ecological thinking into architecture and urban planning. Soleri’s work in the mid 20th century was focused on three-dimensional city structures as a counter model for the two dimensional urban development he was witnessing in US cities. He recognized urban sprawl as a major sustainability problem, as it contributes to separation of people and creates dependence on cars. Through close proximity between working and living spaces he created a city model that was based around walking. He incorporated passive solar techniques into his designs to minimize energy and resource consumption and wanted to foster the idea of community by devoting large areas to public spaces.