Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Arcosanti, Part 1

This week, my friend and fellow photographer, Greg Dunivant and I took a short road trip to Arcosanti, about an hour's drive north of Phoenix. Greg is a talented photographer as you can see from his website — http://www.gregdunivantphotography.com. We were here just for fun and exploration — and were greeted by this interesting sculpture with Arcosanti in the background.

Actually I found this angle of that same sculpture to be even more intriguing — so I'm not sure what was the thought process in its placement. Artist's choice, of course.

Here is the main building, containing the reception center, bell sales area and the cafe.

From their website, "Arcosanti is an urban laboratory focused on innovative design, community, and environmental accountability. Our goal is to actively pursue lean alternatives to urban sprawl based on Paolo Soleri's theory of compact city design, Arcology (architecture + ecology).

Built by over 7,000 volunteers since the commencement of the project in 1970, Arcosanti provides various mixed-use buildings and public spaces where people live, work, visit, and participate in educational and cultural programs."

Paolo Soleri (1919-2013) was a famous architect who decided to pursue his vision for Arcology at this spot in the high central desert of Arizona. To finance his vision he began making and selling bells from his studio in Paradise Valley. These bells welcome the visitor to Arcosanti and they are on display everywhere here at the site.

As I said, everywhere.

From the entry patio one can see both the original stairs and railing...

...as well as the beautiful desert landscape surrounding Arcosanti.

The buildings are all constructed of poured concrete following the philosophy of using materials found nearby (much the same philosophy used by Frank Lloyd Wright in construction of Taliesin West).

At the base of the stairs is a small lounge well lit by the large window and glass door in the background.

Here it is again from another angle. The use of large windows is a common theme at Arcosanti with the purpose of reducing energy consumption.

We found a number of these sculptures scattered around the grounds. For some reason it made me think of the Pixar film, WALL-E.

After taking a few more steps and looking up we saw one of the apartments for workers, workshop attendees and casual guests. I like the see-through cabinet holding cooking supplies — I've never seen a design like that before.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com