This is the second part of a report on the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Paolo Soleri and apprentices view a model for the Santa Fe theater on display in the North Apse at Cosanti in 1964.
At all stages of Soleri’s design, the amphitheater complex dwarfs it’s users. There is a bridge spanning the monumental, but not massive structure. The amphitheater occupies a small site and seats a humble number in the audience.
The stage, originally framed by an apse, was given new definition when its shelter was turned upside-down, a dramatic gesture to the sky.
Soleri was influenced by Elizabethan actor-theater interactions and in an interview for New Mexico magazine in 1993, Soleri said that he hoped “actors would use not only the stage, but the area above it as well as the bridge and the other platforms that were designed into the structure.”
Construction of the amphitheater occurred as a progression of earth shifting, and was instructed by Soleri. Students at the IAIA helped in the construction alongside apprentices from the Cosanti Foundation.
First, the bowl-shaped roof form was carved into the earth and deep wells were dug for the supporting columns.
Story continues on 1/7/09.