This morning I visited Cosanti, the 5-acre studio complex and residence of visionary architect and artist Paolo Soleri located in what is now a fancy residential area of Scottsdale. As you may remember from yesterday’s post, Soleri is the man behind Arcosanti, the experimental desert community near Prescott.
Soleri bought the land that would become Cosanti in 1955 and soon thereafter began to build the first earth-cast concrete structures. Soleri’s architectural philosophy was one of frugality: using the cheapest materials and simplest methods possible. Many of the structures began as shaped mounds of earth upon which a thin (typically 3-inch) layer of concrete was poured. When the concrete was fully hardened, the soil underneath the concrete “roof” was dug away, resulting in a structure that is partially or wholly underground.
Cosanti Gallery Courtyard