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Arcosanti is a model utopian community started by architect Paolo Soleri in 1970.

Arcosanti is located in Arizona about hlafway between Flagstaff and Phoenix off I-17. It's several miles of dirt road off the highway.

View from the visitor parking lot.

It offers tours daily and a pretty good cafe.

The main building houses the visitor center, a cafe and a bakery.

Visitors view approaching Arcosanti. The project is focused on high density living with an ecological sensitivity.

The entrance.

The visitor center from the side.

Soleri and his wife started Arcosanti using their own money - income from making the bells seen all around the place.

The bells are bronze or ceramic and are made on the site.

Tower has stairs to all levels of the vistor center

The cube appears to be mainly decorative

But it also controls what light gets into the round windows.

Like this one, showing the scourge of photographers in the area - contrails from jets.

Soleri uses Arcosanti to illustrate his principles of "arcology" = architecture and ecology. Solar systems are used in many locations.


Up the stairs to the visitor center and cafe

The doorway shapes are decorative.

Opening into the cafe.

The building has a large atrium with cafe, bakery and visitor center/store in three levels.

The giant fabric tube has a vent fan at the top.

Bells for sale in the visitor center.

Bells of all types for sale still generate much of Arcosanti's income. Classes and workshops bring income too.

A decorative door inside the visitor center.

View of the tower from inside.

Model of the proposed full facility. Only the small dark grey buildings now exist.

Back view of the model. The part-dome structures are designed to reduce solar heating in the summer and increase it in the winter.

View up the tube.

View out to the desert.

The dining room in the cafe has giant doors which are opened in hot weather to allow ventilation. No AC is used in this building.

Beginning a tour - note all the concrete, it's the primary building material for Arcosanti.

Landscaping is all natural.

This is one of the domes, set up so the sun is shaded when high in the summer but allowed to shin in during the winter when low to provide warmth for working outdoors.

This dome is used for bell production. The process is unique, pouring low a mix into the molds to create bells.

The molds are made of sand. The mixture is allowed to set a short time.

Then the liquid center is removed, leaving a shell which is removed and fired to form the ceramic.