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Visiting Cosanti
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Cosanti Buildings


Cosanti Architecture

The buildings at Cosanti are not intended as examples of the arcology concept, but many of its principles are at work here. Most of these structures were built using the earth casting method or one of Soleri’s variations on the technique. Concrete was poured over pre-shaped earthen molds, and the earth excavated once the concrete solidified. A modified earth casting technique is used to craft the bronze and ceramic windbells produced here and at Arcosanti.

The general orientation of the buildings is important. Many are situated below ground level and surrounded by mounds of earth. This acts as natural insulation to help moderate interior temperatures year round. You will also see apses. Apse is the Latin word for quarter sphere, or half dome. It is a passive energy collector running solely on how it displays itself to the ever-changing journey of the sun. South facing apses are used at Cosanti and Arcosanti as year-round outdoor workspaces. A south-facing apse is sunny in the winter and shady in the summer due to the changing angle of the sun. Other structures such as the pool have southern exposures to maximize the warmth of the winter sun.