Paolo Soleri dies at 93

April 09, 2013

Italian architect Paolo Soleri has died at the age of 93.

Soleri Paolo Soleri was a famed architect, most well-known around Phoenix for his design of Arcosanti, the experimental community.(Photo courtesy of Arcosanti)

A student of Frank Lloyd Wright, Soleri was born in Turin, Italy, in 1919, but was most well-known in Arizona as the designer of the experimental community Arcosanti. The site, about 70 miles north of Phoenix, has been in ongoing construction since 1970. It demonstrates a concept Soleri called “Arcology,” or a combination of architecture and ecology.

Soleri’s vision was of a hyper-dense city that minimized environmental impact and maximized human interaction.Though it was meant to house 5,000, the permanent population is closer to 100.

Soleri remained active in the community’s construction until the end of his life. He was 92 years old when he retired as president and CEO of the Cosanti Foundation, which created Arcosanti.

In recent years, he split his time between Arcosanti and Scottsdale.