Paolo Soleri

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2006 - Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for lifetime achievement
2000 - Leone d'oro at the Mostra di Architettura di Venezia (Venice Biennale of Architecture) for his lifelong achievement
1984 - Silver Medal of the Academie d' Architecture in Paris
1981 - Gold Medal from the World Biennieal of Architecture in Sofia, Bulgaria

Paolo Soleri (born June 21, 1919[1] ) is an Italian-American architect. He established Arcosanti and the educational Cosanti Foundation. Soleri is a lecturer in the College of Architecture at Arizona State University and a National Design Award recipient in 2006.


Early life

Soleri was born in Turin, Italy. He was awarded his "laurea" (M.Sc. degree) with highest honors in architecture from the Politecnico di Torino in 1946. He visited the United States in 1947 and spent a year and a half in fellowship with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West in Arizona, and at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. During this time, he gained international recognition for a bridge design displayed at the Museum of Modern Art.

Soleri returned to Italy in 1950 where he was commissioned to build a large ceramics factory, "Ceramica Artistica Solimene" in Vietri on the Amalfi coast. The ceramics industry processes he became familiar with during its construction led to his award-winning designs and production of ceramic and bronze windbells and siltcast architectural structures. For over 30 years, proceeds from sales of the windbells have provided funds for construction to test his theoretical work.

In 1956 he settled in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his late wife, Colly, and their two daughters. Dr. and Mrs. Soleri made a life-long commitment to research and experimentation in urban planning, establishing the Cosanti Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation. Soleri's philosophy and works have been strongly influenced by the Jesuit paleontologist and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

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