If you read my last post, you probably gathered that I’m a Paolo Soleri architecture super fan. And as if Arcosanti isn’t enough genius for one person to pump out in a lifetime, Soleri built another magical wonderland, Cosanti, as well. I can’t tell you which is my favorite because both are my favorite.
Cosanti preceded Arcosanti, with construction beginning in 1956 and it served as Soleri’s gallery, studio and residence in Paradise Valley, Arizona. The structures hint at his future dabbling into environmentalism and urban planning. Many of the buildings were literally built into the earth below grade to insulate against Arizona’s climate extremes and, like Arcosanti, make great use of passive solar partial domes. But while Arcosanti is full of thick, rigid geometry, much of Cosanti was built by casting concrete over mounds of earth resulting in a collection of loose, organic structures. The public areas are gorgeous, intriguing, and full of whimsical details. I can only imagine the beauty that sits out of reach to visitors, notably Soleri’s incredible residence and pool! In Italian, Cosanti literally means ‘against things’, things as in property. You know I’m trying to get there, so I’m feeling it all. But really, when Cosanti is your home and work, what possessions are you lacking in life? Granted, I have the maturity of a 13 year old boy. But sometimes the sincerest, and only, verbal response I can muster in the presence of spectacular structures is a quick “I want to be in you” shout. It’s the ultimate compliment if you’re a building anyways, right? That’s why my husband sometimes distances himself from me when insane architecture is involved. That definitely happened here. Meaning, I loved this place. SO MUCH. (More on our Arizona trip here.)