August 03 2014
From Ville Radieuse to Bucky Fuller’s Dymaxion world, architecture has never been short on grand utopian ideas. But unlike most, which live on in only notebook pages, renderings and speculative writings, Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti is a living, growing city unto itself.
At the end of an unassuming, washboarded dirt road off I-17 halfway between Flagstaff and Phoenix, the complex has been under construction now for nearly 45 years. And while its singular and visionary architect sadly passed away in 2012, the complex continues to be built according to his noble and lofty concept of “arcology”—a portmanteau of architecture and ecology—in which structures and their users have a symbiotic relationship with surrounding nature.
Photographer Laure Joliet invited us along on her recent trip, where she shot the complex under crystal clear desert light.