- Paolo Soleri
Paolo Soleri Born June 21, 1919 
Nationality Italian Awards
2006 - Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for lifetime achievement1963 - American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for Craftmanship
2000 - Leone d'oro at the Mostra di Architettura di Venezia (Venice Biennale of Architecture) for his lifelong achievement
1984 - Silver Medal of the Academie d' Architecture in Paris
1981 - Gold Medal from the World Biennieal of Architecture in Sofia, Bulgaria
Work Buildings Cosanti Projects Arcosanti
Paolo Soleri (born June 21, 1919 ) is an Italian-American architect. He established Arcosanti and the educational Cosanti Foundation. Soleri is a lecturer in the College of Architecture at Arizona State University and a National Design Award recipient in 2006.
Soleri was born in Turin, Italy. He was awarded his "laurea" (PhD degree with highest honors) in architecture from the Politecnico di Torino in 1946. He visited the United States in December 1946 and spent a year and a half in fellowship with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin 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.
Soleri returned to Italy in 1950 where he was commissioned to build a large ceramics factory, "Ceramica Artistica Solimene" in Vietri on the Amalfi coast. The ceramics industry processes he became familiar with during its construction led to his award-winning designs and production of ceramic and bronze windbells and siltcast architectural structures. For over 30 years, proceeds from sales of 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 Cosanti Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation. Soleri's philosophy and works have been strongly influenced by the Jesuit paleontologist and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
The Cosanti Foundation's major project is Arcosanti, a community planned for 5,000 people, designed by Soleri; Arcosanti has been in construction since 1970. Located near Cordes Junction, about 70 miles (110 km) north of Phoenix and visible from Interstate I-17 in central Arizona, the project intends to provide a model demonstrating Soleri's concept of "Arcology", architecture coherent with ecology. Arcology is envisioned by Soleri as a hyperdense city, designed to maximize human interaction; it should maximize access to shared, cost-effective infrastructural services, conserve water and reduce 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 a prototype of a desert arcology. Soleri's other arcology designs envisioned sites such as the ocean (Nova Noah), et al. (see: Arcology: City in the Image of Man).
Since 1970, well over 6000 people have participated in Arcosanti's construction. Their international affiliation group is called the Arcosanti Alumni Network. As of 2010, construction is underway to complete Arcosanti's Greenhouse Apron.
The International Architecture Symposium "Mensch und Raum" (Man and Space) at the Vienna University of Technology (Technische Universität Wien) in 1984 received international attention. Paolo Soleri participated, among others: Justus Dahinden, Dennis Sharp, Bruno Zevi, Jorge Glusberg, Otto Kapfinger, Frei Otto, Pierre Vago, Ernst Gisel, Ionel Schein.
In 1966, Paolo Soleri began working on the design for the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was built on the campus of the Santa Fe Indian School using large silt cast forms. The amphitheater is owned by the nineteen Native American Pueblos of New Mexico and is therefore not protected by local or state preservation laws .
A landmark exhibition, "The Architectural Visions of Paolo Soleri," organized in 1970 by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, traveled extensively in the U.S. and Canada, breaking records for attendance. "Two Suns Arcology, A Concept for Future Cities" opened in 1976 at the Xerox Square Center in Rochester, New York. In 1989 "Paolo Soleri Habitats: Ecologic Minutiae," and exhibition of arcologies, space habitats and bridges, was presented at the New York Academy of Sciences. More recently, "Soleri's Cities, Architecture for the Planet Earth and Beyond" was featured at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in Scottsdale, AZ. A Soleri bell appears in the film What the Bleep Do We Know? His work has been exhibited worldwide.
The Paolo Soleri Archives, the collection of all of Soleri's art and letters, is located at Arcosanti. The Soleri Archives is managed by Sue Kiersch under the direction of Cosanti Board Trustee Director of Special Projects Tomiaki Tamura, who resides at Arcosanti.
Soleri was interviewed in the 2007 environmental documentary "The 11th Hour (film)".
December 10, 2010 - Completion of Soleri Bridge and Plaza commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art. The 130-foot (40 m) pedestrian bridge, based on Paolo Soleri's design, is located on the South Bank of the Arizona Canal and connects newly developed retail area Scottsdale Waterfront with Old Town Scottsdale. The bridge is incorporated into a 22,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) plaza including silt cast artwork and a large bell assembly, The Goldwater Bell, also designed by Paolo Soleri.
Soleri has received fellowships from the Graham Foundation and from the Guggenheim Foundation (1964, Architecture, Planning, & Design).
He has been awarded three honorary doctorates and several awards from design groups worldwide:
- 1963 - American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for Craftmanship
- 1981 - Gold Medal at the World Bienniale of Architecture held by the International Academy of Architecture in Sofia, Bulgaria
- 1984 - Silver Medal of the Academie d' Architecture in Paris
- 1996 - Honorary Fellow, Royal Institute of British Architects
- 2000 - Leone d'oro at the Mostra di Architettura di Venezia (Venice Architecture Biennale) for his lifelong achievement
- 2006 - Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for lifetime achievement
He has written six books and numerous essays and monographs. When he is not traveling on the international lecture circuit, Soleri divides his time between Cosanti, the original site for his research located in Scottsdale, and Arcosanti.
- Yavapai County, Arizona
- Mayer, Arizona
- List of architects
- List of urban planners
- Paolo Soleri Amphitheater
- Lisa A. Scafuro. Phoenix Home & Garden. March, 2008, Page 270. “Paolo Soleri: The Lifetime Achievements of a Living Legacy”
- ^ a b c "Biographical profile: Paolo Soleri". Arcosanti. http://www.arcosanti.org/project/background/soleri/main.html.
- ^ "Solimene Ceramics Factory Video". October 15, 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFOXomHEZ-w. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- ^ "Paolo Soleri to be demolished". KRQE.com. June 11, 2010. http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/paolo-soleri-to-be-demolished-/. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- ^ http://www.gf.org/fellows/all?index=s&page=23 Guggenheim Foundation fellowship list
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