PARADISE VALLEY, AZ — Hidden in a quiet Paradise Valley neighborhood, Cosanti was home to the late Italian architect and artist Paolo Soleri.
ABC15 caught up with Mark Johnson, the General Manager of Cosanti Originals.
"Everyday people will come in and tell us how they didn't know that we were here and their jaw drops at the beauty of the architecture," Johnson says.
Known for his concrete earth-formed structures, and pushing architectural boundaries, Paolo Soleri is probably best known for his Soleri Bells. The world-renowned bronze and ceramic wind bells are created and sold at Cosanti. Proceeds help to pay for his organic architectural mission to make something out of nothing.
"We call it Arcology. It's a combination of architecture and ecology," added Johnson.
Soleri started using his trademark earth casting technique at Cosanti, after his apprenticeship ended suddenly with Frank Lloyd Wright.
"They both were very strong-willed people," Johnson noted. "He decided to go his own way and do more experimental types of architecture."
The 5-acre property is of full of hidden gems, including Soleri's design studio, residential structures, the bronze foundry and ceramics apses.
Cosanti offers free hour-long tours, but donations are encouraged. Those tours take place almost every day of the year, excluding holidays. They are limited to 12 people.
If you don't have time for the tour, make sure to see the Bronze Pour.
This is a carefully choreographed process, performed by skilled foundry artisans who pour the super-heated bronze into molds that eventually become one-of-a-kind wind bells.
Johnson says, "It's a behind-the-scenes look at the architecture. And also, they get to see our pores of 2200 degree molten bronze that create these wonderful pieces of art called the Soleri bells."
6433 East Doubletree Ranch Road
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Cosanti Hour-Long Tours: Monday - Saturday, 9:15 am, 10:45 am.
Bronze Pours: Monday - Friday, 9:30, 10:30, & 11:30 daily.
No Tours on Sunday