Paolo Soleri, Visionary Who Merged Architecture with Environmentalism, Dies at 93

Soleri, the founder of the experiential community of Arcosanti, who in many ways presaged the modern sustainability movement, passed away on Tuesday at Cosanti, his home in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
April 10, 2013, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Dr. Soleri, who apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1940s, developed a philosophy he called arcology — architecture coupled with ecology — that some saw as an answer to suburban sprawl," writes Fred A. Bernstein in an obituary for The New York Times. "It involved building densely packed, bee-hive-like buildings that 'held out a promise of not just an alternative architecture but alternative culture,' the architecture critic Paul Goldberger wrote in The New York Times in 1989."

"Dr. Soleri’s basic idea was that architecture and ecology are inseparable in their effect on people," explains Bernstein. "In his view, technology always moves toward miniaturization, just as nature tends toward complexity and compactness. Human habitation, he believed, must also move toward more compact, multilayered and multidimensional spaces instead of scattering or spreading across the landscape."

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Published on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 in The New York Times
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