The Scale of Apocalypse
Paolo Soleri’s Nuclear Revelation
Created against the backdrop of an imminent nuclear confrontation, the architectural drawings and narratives authored by architect Paolo Soleri offer unique insights into the relationship between apocalyptic imagination, the invention of atomic weapons, and radical visions of future architecture. This paper examines Soleri’s architectural representations—including his less-known works created towards the end of the Cold War—theoretical writings, intellectual influences, personal letters and geography of operation, and places those within the nexus of a strictly American nuclear eschatology. Examined through this lens, Soleri’s visions do not offer a promised future for a humanity at stake. Rather, they expose the limits of architectural imagination in face of the unimaginable, and reveal the complicity of architecture, however speculative, in bringing about the end of the world.