Bells are ringing

One of the greatest experiences for Beth, as a 19 year old from Ohio who hadn’t been to very many places, was to leave home and fly out to Scottsdale, Arizona to be a student of Paolo Soleri’s at the Cosanti Foundation.  Beth was an architecture student then, and her chance to work at Cosanti gave her a rich experience. Oddly, Cosanti is probably better know for its bronze cast Soleri bells than for its architecture.


When we planned our trip across the US, Cosanti was among the first places marked on the map.  As we crossed the state line into Arizona, we were counting down the days.  Then sad news came that Paolo Soleri had died, at age 93.  His passing made us wish that more people knew about his ideas on urban planning centered on the concept of arcology – where ecology and architecture go hand-in-hand.


His work is intriguing and very closely attuned to the environment – the desert surroundings in Arizona.  When we were in Vietri, Italy nine years ago, we turned a corner and the most wonderfully designed and magical building faced us – Ceramica Artistica Solimene.  We spent some time inside and even bought some dinnerware.  When we were in the office, filling out the paperwork for shipping to the U.S., we glanced up to see a framed article stating that Paolo Soleri was its architect in 1950.  Of course!  He was unique and so was his work.

April 2013

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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5 Responses to Bells are ringing

  1. Pingback: A statement. No words needed. | simpletravelourway

  2. baidanbi says:

    Were you at Arcosanti? What did you think of it then versus now. I grew up in Phoenix and remember going out there on a school outing. Although I don’t remember much of the details, it made a pretty big impression on me and I still think of it when I see other ecologically minded building designs.

    • I was at Cosanti in Scottsdale back in 1967. Arcosanti was still a dream then. During that summer we went out to walk the land where Arcosanti was to be built. Yes, Soleri’s vision through his buildings are still quite relevant today – and I think, more beautifully designed than many.

      • baidanbi says:

        I had no idea that there is a studio in town, technically in Paradise Valley, even though that is just a few miles from where my parents have lived for the last 30 years. I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m in Phoenix. Thanks for sharing!

      • Yes, Cosanti was the original and led to Arcosanti some years later. We saw that the bell production appeared to be active at Cosanti and the gift shop and assume other operations moved to Arcosanti. We think it’s worth a drive over to see Cosanti.

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