paolo soleri: urban architect and philosopher, 1919 – 2013image courtesy phoenix business journal




at the age of 93, acclaimed italian architect paolo soleri passed away of natural causes on april 9th, 2013. soleri was introduced to the arizona environment when he worked with frank lloyd wright for a short stint in taliesin west, a place that would eventually become his permanent home after completing the ‘ceramica artistica solimene’ back in italy. he and his wife colly dedicated over 40 years of their professional careers to the research and experimentation in urban planning, research, and experimentation. amongst his most notable works is his experimental town arcosanti – whose construction began in 1970 – that developed a concept merging architecture and ecology, aptly coined ‘arcology’. the futuristic experimental city, which is still under construction today, is his final resting place.

paolo soleri: urban architect and philosopher, 1919 - 2013 image © qaanaaq/adam brock




his long and fruitful career gained him national recognition beginning with his bridge design in 1946, displayed at the museum of modern art. since then he has coveted numerous prestigious awards including the AIA gold medal in 1963, thegold medal at the world biennial of architecture in bulgaria in 1981, the silver medal at the academie d’architecture in paris in 1984, an honorary fellow of RIBA in 1996, a golden lion at the venice biennale for his lifelong achievement in 2000, and the cooper hewitt national design award for lifetime achievement in 2006.


in a memorial remembering soleri, arcosanti colleagues state: ‘today the world has lost one of its great minds. paolo soleri, architect, builder, artist, writer, theorist, husband, father, born on summer solstice, has died at age 93.’