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Arcosanti, an urban laboratory

Guestroom mural, Arcosanti
Originally uploaded by annieo76
For 15 years I've wanted to explore this experimental, "Lean Linear," city in the desert of Central Arizona, an hour north of Phoenix and roughly an half hour east of Prescott.

Finally, I'm here. And my architect husband is here to enjoy it with me.

Arcosanti, it's called, was designed by Italian-born architect, Paolo Soleri. He broke ground on the city in 1970, which is gradually being built to this day. Only 20 percent of Soleri's entire city design is complete. Funding has been gradual. Volunteers can spend a week to five weeks to a lifetime working on the construction of this community. There are people who have lived here 20 plus years.

At this point, in order to live here, a person has to go through Arcosanti's five-week workshop. This involves working on one or more aspects of the city infrastructure. Once completed, a person could live and earn a living rage here ... forever.

The goal of Arcosanti when complete, 5,000 residents can live -- and work -- here all within a 25-acre space of land.

This is a great experiment, I, like many others, wish was further along in completion. Though Mr. F has poo-pooed Arcosanti since I've known him, he says the idea conveyed through Soleri's drawings, models and already existing spaces is poetic. Mr. F worries that once Arcosanti is complete it will lose its poetic, ideal nature. Mr. F believes most people would not want to live in such a close-quarters society.

Currently, 70 to 80 people of all ages are living at Arcosanti. Six children live here with their parents and attend school in the nearby town, Mayer. As Arcosanti's buildings are completed and a larger population lives here, there will be a school as well as all typical amenities of an urban city.

Arcosanti currently has several performance spaces, one doubles as the Soleri Bells foundry. Behind the Music Center stage, there are private practice rooms and a large common area. There is a second foundry, this one for creating ceramics. The arts play an important role here.

From what I've seen, the main materials used to build Arcosanti are concrete, metal and glass (lots of windows). There is so much more I could write about Arcosanti, but I will cut it short for now.

Also, besides accompanying Guestroom mural montage, I've taken a ton of photos which need to be edited, then uploaded to flickr.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 6th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
I lived in a tent back when I did my workshop. They were still working on pouring the concrete for the living quarters.
Apr. 6th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC)
That is so frickin' cool, C!
You continue to rock ... you've done so many incredible things.

Tam and I have been talking about doing the five-week workshop in the fall ... that's if neither of us has a job then.

It must have been a blast for you. What year did you do your workshop?
Apr. 7th, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)
I think I was there in '83. I forgot exactly which year it was.

I learned how to weld badly, wash dishes well, shoveled manure and planted Blue Corn.
Apr. 7th, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
"... weld badly ..."
now that's a skill. ;-)

Sounds like you got a decent mix of experience ... not that you needed a workshop for cleaning dishes.

You didn't stay, like so many others. Gosh, if everyone who did the workshop, there'd be too many people to house. They talk about 5,000 being the maximum. More than 6,000 people have done the five-week workshop.

As much as I love the idea of this place, I'm not sure I would want to live here as it is now.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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