When architect and artist Paolo Soleri passed away in April, Arizona (and the world) lost a prominent visionary and innovative creative force.
Soleri pioneered "arcology," a concept that fuses ecology and architecture, and created a live-in example of his theory with the experimental town Arcosanti, located near Cordes Junction. However, in "Paolo Soleri Is the True Legend of the Arizona Architecture Scene," Kathleen Vanesian writes that Soleri's studio compound and original home, Cosanti, is just as important to his legacy as Arcosanti.
Vanesian further discusses Soleri's life, work, and legacy in this week's New Times. She writes:
In 1950, two upstart architects, Paolo Soleri and Mark Mills, finished their first commission -- the Dome House -- a model of which is included in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art. Their glass dome-covered tour de force was built in rugged, barely accessible desert in Cave Creek for Nora "Granny" Woods, an iconoclastic divorced socialite who later would become Soleri's mother-in-law.
Two years earlier, legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright had unceremoniously banished Soleri and Mills from Taliesin West, where they were serving architectural apprenticeships.
Clearly, Soleri stuck in Wright's craw.