The Italian born and world class architect Paolo Soleri made his home in the Scottsdale desert in 1956 until his death in 2013. During his career, Soleri helped create the urban experimental town of Arcosanti in Yavapi County. He also adapted ceramics industry processes learned at this time to use in his award-winning designs and production of ceramic and bronze windbells and silt-cast architectural structures.
He began building Arcosanti in 1970 with the help of architecture and design students as a place to test his urban design hypotheses. This “urban laboratory” became internationally renowned. Soleri’s philosophy and works were strongly influenced by the Jesuit paleontologist and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
On December 10th, 2010, the Soleri Bridge and Plaza in Scottsdale were completed. The 130-foot pedestrian bridge based on Soleri’s design is located on the South Bank of the Arizona Canal and connects the developed retail area of the Scottsdale Waterfront with Old Town Scottsdale. The bridge is incorporated into a 22,000 sq ft plaza including silt cast artwork, as well as a large bell assembly called “The Goldwater Bell”, also designed by Paolo Soleri. The structures were commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art.
Soleri died on April 9th, 2013 and was buried at Arcosanti in its private cemetery beside his wife, Colly. Soleri ceramic and bronze bells continue to be produced and sold at Arcosanti in Yavaipia County and Cosanti in Scottsdale.
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