take the tour
Tours are given at Arcosanti once an hour. The last one leaves at 4, so be sure to get there by 3:30 to sign up. Check out the website for exact times.
Our tour guide was not a full-time resident (not, as Jonathan_C would say, a "true believer"), so we got a very well rounded tour, looking at the successes and failures of the project. It starts with a 15 minute presentation where the guide describes what you would see in a perfect world, with a lovely scale model to illustrate. Then you tour the grounds, seeing what little is actually completed. It's well worth it, though, especially for architecture students and those interested in architecture. You communal living types may be a bit disappointed, but the spirit of the place should inspire you (and I'm sure talking to some of the residents would help as well).
If you are, in fact, an architecture student, I believe they have some sort of deal where you can tour (and even stay) there for next to nothing. Check the website.
From the moment you enter the Arcosanti gallery you will be amazed at the lovely collection of ceramic and bronze bells on display. The sale of these decorative wind chimes is the main source of funding for the entire project. (No wonder construction is behind schedule!) In some ways you could say that Arcosanti is really just a hippie Soleri bell sweatshop with an interesting intellectual hook.
However you feel about the rest of Arcosanti, there is no denying that these bells are exquisite pieces of craftsmanship. When you go on the tour. you will visit the foundry and may even see bronze being cast with Soleri's silt cast method. It's nice to see the beginning-to-end production of a piece of art.
- Arts and Culture
Take the Tour
Daily tours of the site begin in the Arcosanti Gallery, every hour on the hour between 10am and 4pm. The basic tour provides a quick but comprehensive introduction to the history and design philosophy of the Arcosanti project, takes you through much of the site, and shows you the proposed designs for future structures. The suggested donation for these tours is $8 per person.
With any luck, your guide may also be able to give you some insight into what life is like at Arcosanti -- the emotional side of any real community as opposed to just its intellectual underpinnings.
Arrangements can also be made for foreign language tours or tours that focus on birdwatching, organic gardening or architecture.
You can make a donation to the Arcosanti project (recommended: $8) and a resident will tell you about the project and show you around. It's a very interesting tour, and you can even buy windchimes that the residents make. They are truly one of a kind and the money helps fund the project.