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Immerse yourself in the community’s architectural utopia

The community sits in the middle of nowhere. The village that shelters him comes down to a crossroads where a supermarket, fast food restaurants, and a few mobile homes are clustered: blocks of dirty neon lights lined along a lost road in the middle of the desert. We run out onto a dusty road that barely deviates from the main road. In the black silence, a dome suddenly rises: two large arches with mystical patterns. Timothy Bell greets us with his tattoos and hat – he is originally from California and has been responsible for the communication of this place for a year and a half.

You missed our fire, it’s a shame, is his introductory sentence. But welcome to Arcosanti! » The city is striking in its anachronism. This is both the Acropolis and the space opera, the gap between antiquity and the future. You pass through a large amphitheater surrounded by concrete houses with round portholes. Further along the arc of the circle with yellow and red stucco are ceramic workshops.

Organic sources of inspiration

Arcosanti is like a concrete vessel of spatial modernism – an architectural utopia. The next morning, the place comes alive under the pink sun. In the foundry, young men heat liquid bronze and raise it: the community has survived for almost fifty years by selling bells at a rate of 2.7 million euros per year. There are now 80 residents living here in the community: young people have been flocking here for some time. After half a year of probation, and if they are “accepted” by the community, many remain to work there: a foundry, a cafe, a ceramic workshop, construction or visual communication … ” Our community is very open; people come from all over the world to see it and live there,” sings 25-year-old Ali Gibbs, the foundry manager, as if saying a prayer. All Arkonauts are engaged in proselytizing: from the very beginning, specific stages were even planned for the participants to share their knowledge. Every day, a hundred tourists gather there to see the utopia in action. The city also offers architecture, design and eco-housing workshops. Now you can rent Airbnbs there. ” It was Paolo’s wish explains Timothy. To be the center of dissemination and education. »

The Arcosanti project was born in the 70s, its designer Paolo Soleri, who died in 2013, was not an ordinary character: they said that he was self-centered, a little broken, half the time he was dragging around almost naked. The Italian was originally a student of the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He emancipated himself by criticizing his vision of an America eaten up by the suburbs – Soleri, he did not believe in the expansive madness of America, rejected the car. He wanted to create a city by capitalizing on a space where…

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