Two miles east of I-17 exit 262 (Cordes Junction; 65 miles north of Phoenix), Arcosanti is an architectural experiment in urban living that's been a work in progress since 1970. The brainchild of groundbreaking architect and urban planner Paolo Soleri, who died in 2013, it is based on his concept of 'arcology,' which seeks to create communities in harmony with their natural surroundings, minimizing the use of energy, raw materials and land.
If and when it is finished, Arcosanti will be a self-sufficient village with futuristic living spaces, large-scale greenhouses and solar energy. Hour-long tours explore the site and provide background about the project's history and design philosophy. A gift shop sells the famous bronze bells cast at the foundry in Cosanti, near Phoenix. Tours start on the hour beginning at 10am, with no tour at noon.