Three in One Go

Construction in the Goetheanum garden park.

Three buildings in the garden above the Goetheanum have been planned in order to bring anthroposophy to life on the Goetheanum campus. A pavilion for bee colonies is dedicated to the small, great creatures that have long been at home at the Goetheanum. Barbara Schnetzler of the Section for Visual Arts created a design for the building. She is working with clay and lining the walls inside with beeswax, which are also used in the other two buildings.

Barbara also had the idea of building a pavilion to store the biodynamic preparations. Previously, the preparations were hidden away in an outhouse. Now, they are on display, and it is clear what they mean in biodynamic agriculture. They rest in the earth, to be spread out in the vastness of the field and landscape. Yaike Dunselman designed a building that reflects this eccentric movement. A timber construction company, which also builds for the Arlesheim Clinic, was entrusted with the implementation. Six twisted laminated beams distinguish the unusual construction. The girders had to be milled out of a solid block of wood.

There is also a greenhouse, which is also made of wood. This is a challenging project because greenhouse systems are usually made from metal. Pieter van der Ree created the design. These three agricultural buildings mark the first time in 50 years that new buildings have been erected on the Goetheanum site. Fortunately, the building authorities were persuaded that these small projects did not require a new master plan that the Goetheanum would have to adhere to for the next 20 years. An exceptional permit was granted that was approved by all the local authorities. The architect in charge, Susanne Böttge, said, “I hope that with this combination of three buildings for preparations, plants, and bees, we can make it possible to experience what anthroposophy means in relation to nature. As different as the three buildings are and as individually as they were developed, I think they speak well to each other.”

Translation Charles Cross
Image Preparation pavilion, Photo: Wolfgang Held

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