This report was put together by workshop participant Marina Sapunova from Russia. Marina is spending three weeks of her workshop as part of the Soleri Archives team.

 

The second week of our workshop ended with an amazing two-days Field Trip to Phoenix. The first point was the Dome House in Cave Creek, designed by Paolo Soleri in 1950. The house is made like a unified interconnected space with passive heating (in winter) and cooling (is summer). Mary Hoadley told us that in 1950’s it was just a naked desert around and nobody wanted to live here, but now this area is much inhabited but it’s still easy to see this house from a long way off because of its notable dome roof.

The next stop was the pedestrian bridge in Scottsdale, where we had a tour on its building site and Mary with Rodger told us some information about this project, constructions, next steps of design; and they showed us principal points of future structure. Now they are working on finishing fence walls and preparing bases for two huge pipes.

After that we went to Taliesin, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

and got a wonderful tour with Frank there. He told us many interesting things about Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, about history of Taliesin and its surroundings, about Paolo Soleri’s work there; we went through the main buildings, saw the planning office, concert hall, personal rooms; and then Frank showed us some of their student’s shelters, which are solitary situated around Taliesin.  

Then we spent a night at Cosanti. This place is much more different then Arcosanti. All those curved structures seem to be more private and detailed; all the spaces are situated closer to each other and have very precise design. Sometimes you can hardly define borders between interior and exterior spaces. And by simply following the trail you can enjoy the always changing environment. 

The next morning we had a tour with Rodger round Cosanti, with lots of very interesting stories about constructions, buildings, history, projects and Paolo Soleri. He knows everything there. Well, first we had breakfast in the Earth House, where Mary and Rodger live, so it was both breakfast and out tour starting point.

Then we saw the Cosanti gallery, apses with the foundry and ceramics,the office building, where is the huge attractive model of Arcosanti 1969, bridge model and many other models.
After that we met Paolo Soleri at Cat-Cast House and could ask him any questions. I guess everybody was glad to have such an informal dialog with P. Soleri.
By the end of the day Mary drove us to see Biltmore Hotel in Scottsdale and a new Phoenix Library.

It could hardly be described as interesting as it really was, but we spent two days, saturated with a lot of  information and impressions.

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