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Architecture as a Synthesis of the Arts

(CW 286)

December 1999
More details
  • Publisher
    Rudolf Steiner Press
  • Published
    1st December 1999
  • ISBN 9781855840577
  • Language English
  • Pages 220 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

8 lectures, Berlin, Stuttgart, Dornach, Dec. 12, 1911 – July 26, 1914 (CW 286)

This collection of lectures introduces Rudolf Steiner’s unique vision of architecture as a culmination of the arts, uniting sculpture, painting, and engraving, as well as drama, music, and dance—a vital synthesis with the goal of awakening human beings to their task in life.  

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Steiner’s ideas did not remain abstract. Within his lifetime he designed and constructed a number of buildings, including his architectural masterpiece the Goetheanum, a center for culture and arts near Basle, Switzerland. In these lectures, Steiner describes—with reference to the Goetheanum—the importance of an architecturally coherent and integrated community, and how this in turn affects social harmony and unity. The visual arts have the task of transforming our consciousness and helping us build a new society. In words highly relevant to our time, Steiner states that good architecture has the potential to prevent crime and disorder in a way that the system of criminal law could never manage!

Relevant to students of architecture, the arts, social science or anyone seeking deeper spiritual understanding, this volume is illustrated throughout with photos and diagrams and features color plates and additional supporting material edited by Christian Thal-Jantzen. 

This volume is a translation from German of Wege zu einem neuen Baustil. « Und der Bau wird Mensch » (Paths to a new style of architecture. “And the building becomes human”) by Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach, Switzerland (GA 286).

C O N T E N T S:


Introduction by Christian Thal-Janzen


1. Art and Architecture that Reveal the Underlying Wholeness of Creation
2. The Task of Modern Art and Architecture
3. Outline Proposals for the Architecture of a Model Anthroposophical Community in Dornach


4. True Artistic Creation
5. Art as the Creation of Organs through which the Gods Speak to Us
6. A New Conception of Architecture
7. The Aesthetic Laws of Form
8. The Creative World of Color


1. The Evolution of Architecture at the Turn of Each New Millennium
2. The Rebuilding of the Goetheanum

Color Plates

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (b. Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner, 1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.