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Gaudi

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Architecture

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Russ and I had Chinese food for lunch and conversation was stimulating. I learned a few things about people and the department I did not know. But it was the unspoken I was after. Why am I in his presence? Luckily it didn't take long after our meeting for the reason to emerge from my unconscious. Once again, by coincidence it had to do with Soleri. Here is what surfaced.

It begins in 1946 when Soleri spends a year and a half with Frank Lloyd Wright. Obviously, Soleri must have been impressed by Wright because, as it truns out ten years later, he and his family would return to Scottsdale to start their own design laboratory.

 

 

After a four year stay, Soleri returned to Europe in 1950 and was commissioned to design the Cermaica Artistica Colimene. Since the influence of Gaudi on this structure is unmistakable I suggest a Catalonian connection is made during it's design. And the upheaval of the time with various political parties struggling for power, especially socialists, in post-war Spain and Italy expose young Soleri to radical ideas on class structure; which, I believe, later percipitates the split between him and Wright.

 

 

In essence, Wright was a businessman steeped in American individualism that sought patronage from both the wealthy and middle-class. His Usonian houses spoke directly to the middle-class offering practical ways of "rich" living at relatively low costs. Wright was at the end of his career in the 50's, while Soleri was just at the beginning his;and his ideas diverged from Wright's on issues such as class , project scale, wastefulness of resources and dependence on the automobile.

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