Heart of a Gypsy Part 3- Arcosanti Cordes Junction, Az

Arcosanti entrance
Arcosanti entrance
dining area (cement block)
dining area (cement block)
Soleri bells
Soleri bells
Half the Arch
Half the Arch
Studio space
Studio space
Entrance to the dining room
Entrance to the dining room
outdoor space
outdoor space

Arcosanti Art in The Desert


For over twenty years I have studied art, architecture, and interior design. I am always intrigued with new ideas and concepts. Humans have the amazing ability to overcome challenges in their environment in a way other species cannot. Frank Lloyd Wright created designs that worked with nature. He was famous for creating designs such as falling waters where he built a house on top of a waterfall. Paolo Soleri studied under Frank Lloyd Wright and then left to pursue a greater dream; creating a city that would be self sustainable and environmentally friendly.


Soleri designed and built Arcosanti in the middle of the Arizona desert as the beginning of his city. The size of Arcosanti is deceptive because many of the buildings intertwine or serve dual purposes. Concrete is the primary building material. The rooms are sparsely decorated but, each room has views that brings the feeling of the outdoors into the space. The design of the buildings are so artistic that there is no need to have fine furnishings. The spaces are unpretentious and interesting. Walking through the space gives a person the urge to chuck it all and live in this peaceful little world that is Arcosanti.


The first picture is the main entrance (and my son Tristan). The Second picture was taken inside the dinning room, as you can see the Soleri bells hang through the space. The third picture is the Soleri bells, which have funded the building for over twenty years. Picture four is a large arch and only half of the roof line to this outdoor structure (the structure is at least two stories tall). The fifth picture is of one of the half domes that is used as a studio. In the sixth picture is a stairway entrance to the dinning room, I found the use of circles fascinating in this space. The last picture is a view of the entire structure. To me this view looks like something out of star wars.


Every building works with nature using rain collection roofs, wind as air conditioning, and some of the roofs even double as outdoor seating. The down side of Arcosanti is that even though the building continues, it is moving very slowly. Some of agricultural projects are not being utilized as they should. Another issue is that some of the complex is in a state of disrepair. Even with all the negatives you have to admire the design and the ideas that hold Arcosanti together.


As a side note, my son was so intrigued by Arcosanti that he is hoping it will still be there when he graduates high school so he can be an apprentice.


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