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Architecture: An Introductory Reader

Rudolf Steiner, the often undervalued, multifaceted genius of modern times, contributed much to the regeneration of culture. In addition to his philosophical teachings, he provided ideas for the development of many practical activities including education—both general and special—agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, religion, and the arts. Today there are thousands of schools, clinics, farms, and many other organizations based on his ideas.

Steiner’s original contribution to human knowledge was based on his ability to conduct spiritual research, the investigation of metaphysical dimensions of existence. With his scientific and philosophical training, he brought a new systematic discipline to the field, allowing for conscious methods and comprehensive results. A natural seer from childhood, he cultivated his spiritual vision to a high degree, enabling him to speak with authority on previously veiled mysteries of life.

Part One begins with Steiner’s understanding of the Nature and origins of architecture. From there it moves to a discussion of how architectural forms affect and influence the human being and how this influence has accompanied humankind’s cultural development. Following chapters deal with Steiner’s view of the spiritual dimension of architecture and its purpose for today. He also discusses his own two major architectural works, the first and second Goetheanum buildings.

Part Two is based on the “Temple Legend” of the Freemasons and the human being as a temple for the human “I.”  According to this legend, the future of humanity depends on the rediscovery and restoration of the lost “temple” of the human body and the Earth itself.

This volume collects much of what Rudolf Steiner had to say about architecture and its significance for our human life and culture and humanity’s spiritual and earthly future.

C O N T E N T S:

Introduction by Andrew Beard


1. The Origins and Nature of Architecture
2. The Formative Influence of Architecture on the Human Being
3. The History of Architecture in the Light of Mankind’s Spiritual Evolution
4. A New Architecture as a Means of Uniting with Spiritual Forces
5. Art and Architecture as Manifestations of Spiritual Realities
6. Metamorphosis in Architecture
7. Aspects of a New Architecture
8. Rudolf Steiner on the First Goetheanum Building
9. The Second Goetheanum Building
10. The Architecture of a Community in Dornach

The Temple Legend: Underlying Esoteric Aspects of Steiner’s Vision

11. The Temple Is the Human Being
12. The Restoration of the Lost Temple

Further Reading
Illustration Credits
Note Regarding Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures

About the Author

Rudolf 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.

Additional information

Weight 18 oz
Dimensions 5 × 0.75 × 7 in


Andrew Beard




March 2004






Rudolf Steiner Press


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