The Step Leading to the Second Goetheanum

An intensive art week with the Section for Visual Arts.

Among Rudolf Steiner’s most astonishing achievements is the radical transformation of the design concept of the first Goetheanum into a completely new design for the second building. While the first Goetheanum was still a rather introverted wooden building, through which an attempt was made to make the content of anthroposophy tangible through art, after the fire catastrophe in 1922, the second building became an expressively designed concrete structure. It unfolds in the tension between an east side that rests within itself and a west side that opens up to the world.

The concept for this building was first presented at the Christmas Conference in 1923/24. There, the General Anthroposophical Society was re-established, the Foundation Stone Meditation was transmitted as its spiritual foundation, the statutes as its social form were handed over to the members, and the School of Spiritual Science was established as its centerpiece. What is the relationship between the content of the Foundation Stone Meditation, the Society’s statutes, the aims of the School of Spiritual Science, and the living form of its architectural dwelling? They all arose simultaneously from the same source and the same spirit. Can we recognize this spirit in the Goetheanum’s architectural manifestations and read what messages and inspirations it still has today?

These questions will be addressed through architectural observations, drawing, artistic exercises in working groups, and conceptual contributions during the art intensive week from July 18 to 25 in German and English. The motifs of the colored windows of the Goetheanum form a leitmotif, leading one’s view across the threshold into the spiritual world and making the human being visible as a microcosm in its connection with the macrocosm. The windows also open up a perspective on the further spiritual development of humans.

More The Step Leading to the Second Goetheanum

Translation Charles Cross
Image West entrance to the Goetheanum, Photo: Sofia Lismont

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