«One must be able to think in colors and forms as one is able to think in terms and thoughts.»
Buildings surrounding the Goetheanum
Rudolf Steiner designed a number of buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Goetheanum. They form a harmonious unity with the main building and with the landscaping which also stems largely from him.
Heating Tower (1914)
The central heating unit for the Goetheanum and some of the surrounding buildings is situated there. Aside from the base of the first Goetheanum, this is the first concrete building built by Rudolf Steiner. It is connected to the main building by an underground tunnel and the heating pipes pass through this to all the rooms. In a lecture on the subject, Rudolf Steiner shows how the forms of this building are developed out of the forms of the first Goetheanum. At the same time one finds the language of forms present in the later concrete building already pre-empted here.
Glass House (1914)
The Glass House was built to house the studio where the stained glass windows of the first Goetheanum were cut. It is constructed totally of wood. The exterior walls are covered with wooden shingles, the two domes forming the roof of Norwegian slate. Of all the buildings, its character reminds one most strongly of the destroyed first Goetheanum with its two domes. Also the forms of the windows in the two rotundas correspond exactly to those of the hall of the first Goetheanum. The Glass House may be perceived as distinctly different to the heating Tower. The two domes here form the essential part of the building. In the case of the heating Tower, the domes have shrunk to atrophied remnants. But between then there rises the massive smokestack.
House Duldeck (1915)
The Duldeck House was built to house the family Grossheintz. Dr. Emil Grossheintz was a dentist in Zürich. He donated large parts of his estate so that the first Goetheanum could be built, after it became clear that it could not be built in Munich. Some of the rooms were used as guest rooms. Begun a short 2 years after work on the first Goetheanum had started, the structure shows unmistakable features of the later concrete edifice of the 2nd Goetheanum. The house is situated on the western end of the Goetheanum. The dynamic movement of the forms of the current building were anticipated here to an even more extreme extent.
The Eurythmy Houses (1920)
The so-called “Eurhythmy houses” are a complex of three apartment buildings which were built to house the eurhythmists active at the Goetheanum. Their living conditions were extremely modest. They consist of a series of little rooms, with a few kitchenettes where they could cook. The bathtub for the entire building was in the cellar. People usually ate in the canteen at the Goetheanum, the Kaffee- und Speisehaus. The sculptress, Edith Maryon, herself a resident of one of the rooms, was involved in the design. She later became the first leader of the Section for the Pictorial Arts at the Goetheanum.
House de Jaager (1921)
Jacques de Jaager had been a well-known sculptor in Paris, and was one of the co-workers carving on the first Goetheanum. The artist died in the year 1916. Acting on a suggestion of Rudolf Steiner, his widow built the house for herself and her little daughter, and so that the work of her late husband might also be displayed. This building is consequently a family residence and at the same time a memorial to a deceased artist. The upper, red part of the building encloses the studio, the grey-blue part the residential apartment.
Transformer Unit (1921)
The house built to house the electrical transformer is a clear example for the striving of Rudolf Steiner to bring style into every detail of his artistic work. Everything in and around the Goetheanum building was to be formed in keeping with the main building.
In the immediate vicinity of the Goetheanum stood the House Brodtbeck, about which Rudolf Steiner once expressed the wish, “...that we sincerely hope that we will one day be able to acquire it. You might realize why – it obviously spoils the entire view of our building.”
It turned out that they could secure the house, and so an annex was added on to it, which contains a large Eurhythmy hall on the ground floor and a studio on the first floor. A new entrance was designed for the old building and a veranda with split-levels. In 1935 a second addition was constructed by the architects Albert Baravalle and Ernst Aisenpreis, which obscures a part of the veranda. The entire complex is named the Rudolf Steiner-Halde (Rudolf Steiner's Slope) today. The part of the building designed by Rudolf Steiner is the only asymmetric building we have from him. Particularly predominant are the two columns that support the roof on the western front. Rudolf Steiner designed this building at the time when he first began to concern himself with the forms of the second Goetheanum.
Publisher’s House (1924)
This building, built for the anthroposophical publishing house, Philsophisch-Anthroposophisher Verlag, served as a warehouse for the many books. The publishing company had to move to Dornach from Berlin during the growing economic recession in Germany after WWI. As the building was urgently required and there was little money for it, a timber-frame construction was used. On a floor erected above the entrance, the manager of the publisher had her desk. This side of the building is also the only one that has any windows – the main area being lit up by a large skylight.
House Schuurman (1924)
Rudolf Steiner handed on the design for the residence of Max and Ida Schuurman in the form of a sketch. His illness and subsequent death prevented him from further involvement in its construction. The house stands to the east of the Goetheanum. Its square forms seem to be an extension of what we can see in the eastern wing of the main building as a strict cubic façade.