The World’s First Arcology Prototype

Arcology is a set of design principles conceived of by the late theoretical architect, Paolo Soleri. The term is a blending of “architecture” and “ecology” and is the antithesis of urban sprawl. Sensing the growing reliance on cars, the increasing appropriation of natural spaces for housing developments, and the negative impact of both on the human spirit and the planet, Soleri conceived of Arcosanti as a proof of concept of arcology. Begun in 1970 and based on an arcology-minded design theory, Arcosanti, dubbed “The Urban Laboratory,” one of the modern world’s first attempt at creating an urban living experience that is vertical, densely integrated with mixed uses, and environmentally-conscious.

Today, Arcosanti is considered an important and early example of a radical urban plan that enables conservation of land, energy, and natural resources. Over 8,000 sustainability-minded volunteers have contributed to the building of Arcosanti over the past 50 years, gaining valuable experience in construction, passive solar energy concepts, and responsible urban design, simply by contributing to the project and “learning by doing.”

Explore the Project

Cosanti Originals Windbells

Cosanti Originals Windbells have been an important source of income for The Cosanti Foundation to support its mission and its stewardship of both Arcosanti and Cosanti. The notion of “craft” and art-making has a rich tradition at Cosanti and Arcosanti. The cast-in-place method used to make the ceramic Windbells was the inspiration for building the innovative silt-cast structures pioneered by Paolo Soleri.

The largest concentration of these provocative structures is at Cosanti, Soleri’s former design studio, in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Today, the handcrafted Ceramic and Bronze Windbells are still being made, one by one, in the same time-honored artistic tradition, by skilled artisans. Renowned worldwide, Cosanti Originals Windbells are a collectible and sought-after “Arizona” treasure.

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Stay at Arcosanti

After a day spent absorbing the ethos of Arcosanti, enjoy a peaceful and restful overnight stay. Our guests get to experience first-hand an immersion into the guiding principals of arcology. Featuring minimalist furnishings and large windows to take in the sweeping views, the “elegant frugality” and unspoiled nature work together to create a contemplative experience.

Arcosanti is a place for serenity and solitude, as well as a unique cultural experience in a semi-urban environment. Take time to explore and take in the unique architecture, natural surroundings, and be captivated by the community spaces as you interact with the interesting people who call Arcosanti home.

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arco shape with a triangle

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