Architecture as a Synthesis of the Arts

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Rudolf Steiner Press, 1999 - Architecture - 192 pages
2 Reviews
8 lectures plus extracts and notes (CW 286)

This collection introduces Rudolf Steiner's vision of architecture as a culmination of the arts. Such architecture unites sculpture, painting, and engraving as well as drama, music and dance a vital synthesis of all the arts working in cooperation through the common ideal of awakening us to our individuality and task in life.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Steiner's ideas did not remain abstract. Within his lifetime he was able to design and construct 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 unity and harmony.

These lectures offer a panorama of the development of architecture in parallel with the emerging human soul in human evolution. This is a valuable collection for all students of architecture, the arts, social science, and those looking for a deeper spiritual understanding of the art of architecture.

Includes eight color plates and 30 black & white illustrations.


CONTENTS:
  • Part One: The Temple Is the Human Being
  • An Art & Architecture that Reveal the Underlying Wholeness of Creation
  • The Task of Modern Art & Architecture
  • Proposals for the Architecture of a Model Anthroposophical Community at Dornach
  • Part Two: Ways to a New Style of Architecture
  • True Artistic Creation
  • Art As the Creation of Organs through which the Gods Speak to Us
  • A New Concept of Architecture
  • The Aesthetic Laws of Form
  • The Creative World of Color
  • Appendix: The Evolution of Architecture at the Turn of Each New Millennium
  • Notes & Color Plates


Architecture as a Synthesis of the Arts is a translation from German of Wege zu einem neuen Baustil. "Und der Bau wird Mensch""
 

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This book is very good, but requires that you have knowledge on Steiner's philosophy and ideas before hand.
Don't expect a common architecture book. This book is about human kind, and how we
should relate to buildings, creating and interacting with them.
It's also important to note that it comprises different lectures about the subject that have been put together, so although they relate to the subject, they do not follow one solid, progressive, chain of thought as Steiner usually does. For the same reason some topics appear in more than one lecture, making some of them less interesting.
Having said that, the concepts and the ideas you get on this book, I don't think you can get them anywhere else. I'm not an architect, and I was able to understand in many new ways how buildings in their design, colors, and decoration relate to human condition and its purpose. Found myself asking new questions to myself, and that's important. Also I have a new perspective to look at buildings, and many things I thought great, I'm now reconsidering. That is also important.
 

Contents

AN ART AND ARCHITECTURE THAT REVEAL
3
THE TASK OF MODERN ART AND ARCHITECTURE
22
OUTLINE PROPOSALS FOR THE ARCHITECTURE
35
Given on the occasion of a General Meeting of
44
WAYS TO A NEW STYLE OF ARCHITECTURE
51
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner was a noted Goethe (see Vol. 2) scholar and private student of the occult who became involved with Theosophy in Germany in 1902, when he met Annie Besant (1847--1933), a devoted follower of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (1831--1891). In 1912 he broke with the Theosophists because of what he regarded as their oriental bias and established a system of his own, which he called Anthroposophy (anthro meaning "man"; sophia sophia meaning "wisdom"), a "spiritual science" he hoped would restore humanism to a materialistic world. In 1923 he set up headquarters for the Society of Anthroposophy in New York City. Steiner believed that human beings had evolved to the point where material existence had obscured spiritual capacities and that Christ had come to reverse that trend and to inaugurate an age of spiritual reintegration. He advocated that education, art, agriculture, and science be based on spiritual principles and infused with the psychic powers he believed were latent in everyone. The world center of the Anhthroposophical Society today is in Dornach, Switzerland, in a building designed by Steiner. The nonproselytizing society is noted for its schools.

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