Long before green buildings entered popular vocabulary, futuristic eco-architect Paolo Soleri was pioneering his vision of an entire city — or arcology — structured in harmony with nature. Soleri’s unique theoretical and design work is showcased this month at the Boston Architectural Center in Boston’s Back Bay. Soleri will deliver the annual Cascieri 14 Lectureship in Humanities on April 20th and his work is also the subject of a gallery exhibition. The Architecture of Place, The Place of Architecture, at the BAC through the end of the month.

In sixty years of committed research Soleri has sought to develop a meaningful system of architecture by applying ecological principles to the design of highly integrated and compact urban spaces. His work aims to put an end to the waste of urban sprawl as well as its tendency to isolate people from each other and the community. The most notable example of Soleri’s design philosophy is Arcosanti, an experimental city founded in the 1970’s in the high desert of Arizona. While the project remains under construction, Arcosanti proposes to house 5000 citizens in network of structures covering only 25 acres.

The Architecture of Place will be on view at the McCormick Gallery at the Boston Architectural Center through April 30th. The exhibit feature several of Soleri’s projects as well as those of BAC students exploring the siltcast construction techniques, for which Paolo Soleri was awarded the AIA Gold Medal for Craftsmanship. Soleri will present his lecture at 7:30 pm on Thursday, April 20th.