The current master plan Arcosanti 5000 describes a laboratory designed to test Arcosanti’s potential as a working urban alternative, socially, economically and energetically. As a living community, Arcosanti’s design has been continuously changing since the idea was first conceived by Soleri in 1963. While Soleri‘s original guidelines clearly stand as a touchstone for future development, he anticipated that building Arcosanti would proceed in a fluid, flexible way.

Lessons continue to be learned from its construction, and for the past forty years the goal has been, as with any intricate urban design, to demonstrate a mix of planned and spontaneous architectural and cultural acts. We are at work now to foster collaboration opportunities with individuals and institutions in our effort to reach Arcosanti’s development goals.

Arcosanti advances as we continue to produce the kind of place and space that draws interest from all over the world. We are eager to work with people from around the globe who aspire to help meet our mission. Progress at this extraordinary laboratory continues one nail – and one construction workshop – at time.

“Arcosanti’s Future is to build the city…”

– Jeff Stein, Co-President



Master Plan


The final layer of construction will accommodate 5,000 people in a mixture of guest, residents, students and visitors. We anticipate that this habitat will be highly sensitized to the environmental, human, social, economic & cultural climate indispensable for the development of a new culture.

Critical Mass Plan

The Critical Mass concept was introduced as an incremental phase to house 10 percent of the projected population of 5,000. A series of small-scale structures, providing various amenities designed to support a viable community of the critical population of 500, would hopefully function as a springboard to the next major step; the completion of Arcosanti. The main facilities planned for the Critical Mass are shown below:


The Pizza Piazza and its large apse will contain foundry and ceramics production areas, a Visitor Center and Gallery, a pizza parlor, and three floors of residential and hotel units. The foundry and ceramics facilities will replace the existing facilities once their production capacities are reached. The existing Visitor Center and Gallery in Crafts III on the east will be replaced by the Piazza, but will retain access via an outdoor gallery/promenade.

The West Crescent Complex is planned to accommodate large meetings and assemblies as well as housing for their participants along with long-term residents. It will include seven floors of residential and hotel units and two floors of commercial and conference spaces. The building will act as an apse “exedra,” incorporating a full range of thermal effects: the apse effect, the greenhouse effect, the chimney effect, and the heat sink effect.

The Teilhard de Chardin Complex is a conference-exhibition-housing facility located immediately south of the East Crescent. Its two large basilicas and large number of smaller conference rooms will provide Arcosanti with considerable capacity for seminars and conferences. Twelve small housing units will be built along the top of the cloister, with an open-air theater below. The buildings will connect directly with the Energy Apron Greenhouse located on the south slope.

La Loggia is primarily designed as residential space for short-term and long-term residents. On the north side, La Loggia faces Tristan’s Wall, a composition of precast panels offering a vertical landscape in the backyard. La Loggia also provides immediate access to the Energy Apron with food and energy production features, providing a unique living experience for residents. Each room has an expansive view of the valley.

The Energy Apron features varied microclimatic conditions for diversified horticulture. A number of experiments are involved in the design of the greenhouses, among them a water collection and recycling system, the shading of the greenhouse by vines to obstruct the summer sun, and warm air collection on a large scale. In the winter months, the warmed air will be directed into the buildings above to provide additional heating.

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