Arcosanti - An Urban Laboratory in the Arizona Desert.

Construction - energy apron

April 08. 2013

This continues our report from Friday, April 5. 2013 about a large concrete pour on the stepped greenhouse right below the guestrooms.

[from left] Here we see workshop participant Chase McCain helping to distribute the wet concrete within the form. In the background we see structural engineer Jason Hale, president of Core Structure Group in Flagstaff, AZ, actng as an inspector for this pour. Next is planning intern Dario Fratini with project manager for the greenhouse David Tollas, and construction staff Paolo Van Erp holding the wheelbarrow.

[photos by Nadia Begin]

Jason Hale looks on while David teaches Chase and construction volunteer Adrienne Elkin how to evenly distribute and compact the concrete with a large concrete vibrator. 

Jason is generously donating his time on all of the work he has done for the Arcosanti project. 

From left: Adrienne and Chase, David Tollas, Jason Hale, workshop participant Travis Shappell, Dario Fratini and construction volunteer Scott Neigut.

This concrete pour is the back wall of the last upper planter in this stepped greenhouse.

In the background with vest is Zak Zakovi, Cosanti alumnus from 1965, who we thank for his generous donation to the greenhouse. 

April 05. 2013

All along construction has continued on the stepped greenhouse right below the guestrooms. So many events have taken the spotlight in ArcoNews that there has been little chance to report on the construction team, as they steadily move forward in their effort to complete the first section of the energy apron.

Here we can see the greenhouse site with the guestrooms right above with a small view of the Arcosanti site in the upper background.

[photos by Mitzy Strebel]

On this day a large concrete pour is planed for the uppermost retaining wall of the greenhouse. You can see part of the wooden form right at the top.

The construction crew is getting ready to mix the concrete.

Every part of getting each site ready for a new addition, building and situating the concrete form correctly, working with construction drawings to learn in detail what kind of wall is planned, what type of form is needed, down to the type of concrete mixture appropriate for this particular wall and the permit process involved, all of these steps are a learning process  for the workshop participants and volunteers that are part of the construction team.

Concrete is transported in wheel barrows, here we see construction team member Paolo Van Erp getting ready to pour his wheelbarrow into the form. Greenhouse project manager David Tollas stands by to guide.

The report about this pour continues with more photos on Monday. April 8. 2013.

December 07. 2012

Work continues on the uppermost terrace of the greenhouse. 

David Tollas is vibrating the cement for even distribution while Francesca and Paolo use shovels to spread the concrete into the form.

[photo by Mitzy Strebel]

Workshop participant Jody Whiteoak returned from Tasmania, Australia to complete week 2-4 of his workshop, he did his seminar week in 2003. Here he is screeding the surface of the concrete slab.
[photo by Nadia Begin]

In the foreground we see workshop participants Ana Flor and Geraldine with construction staff Paolo and workshop participant Francesca. 
[photo by Nadia Begin]

Francesca and Geraldine finish the slab. One yard of concrete was mixed by hand mixer, the two slabs are 3 feet wide and 15 feet long by 4 inches thick.
[photo by Mitzy Strebel]

December 05. 2012

The November 11. 2012 workshop is working on the uppermost terrace of the greenhouse. 

Here is Geraldine finishing the west half of the the slab. 

Concrete work on the west slab is completed and we can see Paolo Van Erp compacting the ground in the form for the east slab.

Harry  Friedman is pouring the concrete from a wheelbarrow. One yard of concrete was mixed by hand-mixer.


More about this pour on Friday, December 7. 2012.

[photos by Nadia Begin]

December 03. 2012

Manager of the Arcosanti planning department, Nadia Begin, took a series of photos from across the mesa of the first part of the energy apron now under construction on the slope below the guest rooms.

For more information and to help support this important effort please see this link to the GREENHOUSE/ENERGY APRON DEVELOPMENT FUND.




September 24. 2012

Jenna Dern, Greenhouse Manager, starts her morning by moving the crane into position.  Asked what it's like operating such massive machinery, she exclaimed "Fun!"

[Photo and text by Donald Mahoney]

Project manager for the new greenhouse, David Tollas, is assisted by new construction volunteer Isaac Mueske in securing a precast panel for movement by the crane.

[Photo and text by Donald Mahoney]

Isaac decided to take a year off after graduating from high school before attending Northern Arizona University to study Astrophysics.  His interest in agriculture and architecture led him to Arcosanti, where he is working closely with Dern.  Says Jenna, "For being 18, he has such maturity, and with the enthusiasm he shows and what he knows already, he'll accomplish a lot here."  Here he begins mixing cement for the day's pour.

[Photo and text by Donald Mahoney]

We continue our report about construction of the stepped greenhouse below the guestrooms.

Here we have a view looking down on the greenhouse construction site.

[photos: Nadia Begin & text: David Tollas]

In this side view we can see steps and some of the planter bed walls, as well as columns that will support a membrane to cover the greenhouse.

The crew is working on some of the retaining walls.

Juliano Lovadina watches as Tristan Tollas and Tristan Schrager vibrate the concrete in the first level of a column.

Jun Ito, workshopper from Japan, finishes a small concrete wall.

Here is more about construction of the terraced greenhouse below the guestrooms.

Juliano, Jenna, Nicki and Tristan are mixing concrete.

[photos: Nadia Begin & text: David Tollas]

Tristan is dropping a wheelbarrow of concrete into the form for one of the sidewalks of the planned 10 levels of the terraced greenhouse.

The crew is completing the casting of the sixth level of the terraced slope.

More to come on 7/23/2012.

We continue our report about construction on the stepped greenhouse below the guestrooms. 


Jenna and Sasha watch as David finishes the footing for one of the retaining walls at the ramp to the lowest level of the greenhouse.

[photos: Nadia Begin & text: David Tollas]

Paolo van Erp ties rebar in the form for one of the 12 sets of concrete stairs on either side of the planter beds.

Ron Chandler often comes to help construction, taking time from his own work of landscaping [as well as metal work, taking care of the telephones, rattlesnake relocation ...]. Here we are casting a set of stairs and footings for columns of the greenhouse membrane support structure.


More to come on 7/11/2012.


[photos: Nadia Begin & text: David Tollas]



At the greenhouse construction site, project manager David Tollas is looking over drawings with Yavapai County inspector John Lindstrom.

[photos: Nadia Begin & text: David Tollas]


Structural engineer Jason Hale discussing a proposal for a shade structure for the East Crescent Amphitheater. With him are manager of site utilities, Scott Riley, Cosanti Foundation president Jeff Stein and project manager David Tollas.

Here is structural engineer Jason Hale with the Arcosanti construction crew at the site for a special inspection and a pour.

top from left: Richard Herzog [planning intern], Tristan Tollas, Paolo Van Erp, Tristan Schrager, crew leader Jenna Dern, Jane Tellini, crew leader Dan Reiff and Nikki Luke.

front from left: Jun Ito, Giuliano Govadina, Rawaf Rawaf, Jason Hale, David Tollas with Sasha Tollas and Karla Brent [construction intern].

Jason Hale, president of Core Structures Group - Structural Engineers, with Paolo Soleri. Jason has donated his time on all of the work he has done for the Arcosanti project. Paolo's expression shows his gratitude for this generous gift from Jason and his company.