2013 Conference

ARCHITECTURE STEINER CONFERENCE 2013 is an activity of the Art Group of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain.  The aim of the Art Group is to support the work of the Art Section. The Art Section is active globally and is a part of the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland.  Its object is to create a network of practitioners of architecture, sculpture, painting and other visual art forms who are active or interested in the Art Section.

At the International Architecture Steiner Conference in July 2013, participants from various nationalities gathered at Emerson College in Sussex, England, exploring the theme of Wholeness Through Architecture And The Art

Architecture is the art which so disposes and adorns the edifices raised by man, for whatever uses, that the sight of them may contribute to his mental health, power and pleasure.
— John Ruskin





introductory workshops
10 to 11 July 2013


Looking at Landscape with the Eyes of the Elements

In this workshop we will explore through words, colour and guided observation our relationship to Place. The qualities of earth, water, air and fire will deepen this experience. This journey can consciously underpin architectural design.


Rudolf Steiner Architecture – how do we find in our own schooling, inspired by Steiner's own buildings, keys to working with present and future challenges?


main conference
11 to 14 july 2013 single day sessions




Wholeness, An Approach to the Environment Underpinning Design

"Walls Which Are Not Walls" - Today’s struggle between wholeness and fragmentation in architecture                             

The Sum and the Parts - exploring how an art of assembly such as architecture can construct genuine ‘wholes’






Wholeness and Fluidity     

Organic Architecture: Creating Out of a New Awareness of Wholeness

The threefold nature of architecture in relation to the human being, their interrelated historical development and current challenges


UK Steiner-inspired projects:  presentations and panel discussion     

Presenters     Peter Clegg, Nicolas Pople, David Tasker, Sarah Wigglesworth
Chaired by     Richard Coleman




RUDOLF STEINER and modern architecture

In the face of increasing global challenges, Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861 - 1925) pointed to the need for a spiritual renewal of western culture, in areas including education, agriculture, medicine, economics, the sciences, religion, architecture and the arts.  Apart from giving over 6,000 lectures and writing 30 books, he designed 18 buildings, 13 of which are in Dornach, Switzerland. He also worked as a painter and sculptor, designed jewellery and engraved glass windows, and founded the worldwide Steiner Waldorf education movement, Anthroposophical Medical movement, Biodynamic Agricultural movement. Rudolf Steiner offered a comprehensive path of spiritual development and research which, when pursued, can contribute to the creation of a more humane world.


ERIK ASMUSSEN                                             

Erik Asmussen, Danish architect, established himself internationally through his organic architecture for the Rudolf Steiner seminariet in Järna from the mid-seventies until completion of the Cultural Hall at the seminariet, inaugurated summer 1992. During this period he designed many Steiner schools and other buildings within the anthroposophical movement in Scandinavia and Germany. His work has been an inspiration for a whole generation of architects, there having been annual architectural conferences at the seminariet over a period of many years from the seventies onwards. He was fully active as architect until his death in 1998.



Makovecz and the Seraphs

".... From the very beginning, I had this one goal –to construct the one building that was already standing before the dawn of man, in the pristine world; to bring back the radiating presence of the primeval home, the breathing House of the Golden Age.” -- Imre Makovecz

Indeed, Makovecz was deeply influenced by the events and creatures of the hidden realm. His architectural work is a reflection on the process at the end of which human history emerges, cradled by pre-historic forces and angelic interventions and guided by the denizens of the spirit world. By accepting this guidance, his buildings serve as transpositions into reality of things that could have existed.

"I prefer to think that God has enough humour and forgiveness to deal with how I lived my life. It was always He who gave me the strength to go on.” -- Imre Makovecz)


REX RAAB          

Through his architecture, Rex Raab sought to challenge the human ego of the user of his buildings – that is, to awaken the user to their personal destiny and task in this life.


JOHN WILKES                                                    

Amongst other achievements, John Wilkes advanced our understanding about water as a creative substance in nature's formative processes, while also inventing Flowform technology that helps water support life.




“Walls Which Are Not Walls”On Steiner's ideas for an organic approach to architecture
translation and assistance by architect Fritz Wessling


Rudolf Steiner Architecture

Rudolf Steiner, apart from giving over 6,000 lectures and writing 30 books, was the architect for 18 buildings, 13 of which are in Dornach, Switzerland. He also worked as a painter and sculptor, designed jewellery and engraved glass windows, founded the worldwide Steiner Waldorf education movement, Anthroposophical Medical movement, Biodynamic Agricultural movement. He made significant contribution for a spiritual understanding of the universe, astronomy, natural science, the human being and the evolution of human consciousness. He also made significant contribution to an understanding of the human being in relationship to the sphere of law, of economics and of the cultural.

In the three sessions we plan to introduce you to his two principal buildings: the First Goetheanum, largely in carved wood, commenced 1913 and destroyed by fire 1922/23, and the Second Goetheanum in reinforced concrete commenced 1925, taken into use 1928 and still being completed.  These two very different solutions to creating a building with a large auditorium and stage but a mere 12 years apart in conception, gives us valuable insight into how such a task can be tackled using his organic/holistic approach to architectural creation. We will also include the 10 buildings in the immediate vicinity and 2 others locally.  The others are 3 in Stuttgart, one in Karlsruhe (a walk in model) and one in Munich (never built).

In his architectural work Rudolf Steiner explored an organically holistic approach where every detail grows out of the totality and the totality is reflected in every detail, not unlike what we find in the medieval cathedral builders.


Consensus Design on a site-specific project  

The workshop provides a practical experience for exploring consensus design as a creative process. Participants will be working in one of Emerson’s more public places on a specific design task towards developing skills and observational sensitivity, enhancing our ability to connect to intrinsic human and site specific values. 


Gathering Spaces and the social-spiritual dimension of architecture

Beyond the functional requirements and aesthetics of architecture, buildings and spaces carry an underlying gesture that reveals something of the intention and interconnectedness of the place.  Choosing a simple gathering space of Emerson’s Masterplan (Kindergarten room or the Campsite social space) we will explore the social and spiritual dimensions of architecture and its contribution to Wholeness. 


Structure Form and Geometry with particular reference to the life and work of the honeybee

This workshop will study the honeybee by both drawing and modelling - its anatomy, the life and social structure of the hive, together with the form and construction of the honeycomb. This latter study will encompass both the organic forms of the naturally occurring hanging comb together with the very precise geometric principles of the cell structure and will lead us to construct models of 3D cellular partition systems where efficiency of construction is paramount.

We are currently engaged in the design of a Bee Observatory for Emerson College and during our workshop Christian Greutzmacher, the client for this project, will discuss his own very particular approach to bees and beekeeping, a form of 'social art', and the concept and design of the observatory to date. 



In learning to move with others we discover an innate social movement sense that can help us to find a new relationship to the expression of gesture, movement and form in the world around us. All things express themselves in this language and we can learn to read it through eurythmy. No special skills are needed to join this workshop, the movements of eurythmy are not strenuous and are suitable for all.


The Twelve Senses

Through our senses we discover the world. They are primary to our experience of everything around us. But there are more than just five. There is our perception of our well being, of our movement, of our balance. So too we perceive words, thoughts and most important of all the sense of the other person. This talk is an introduction to the 12 senses as enumerated by Steiner and their fundamental importance to our experience of architecture.


Exploring the Future of Organic Architecture


Healing Water

Water is used by humanity in vast quantities, and in the process it loses its original quality. Water is far more than most people understand. Once we understand it better we will be able to look after it better. This workshop will lead to an insight into Flowform technology which John Wilkes invented from decades of research into how nature looks after its water. 


Metamorphosis in Nature and the Artistic Process 

John Wilkes' research indicates that metamorphosis is at the heart of formative processes occurring in nature and in human creativity. We will look at some types of metamorphosis, and live into the relationships of time, space and creativity with plants, bones and architectural elements reflected in gravity and levity forces.




Richard Coleman

Lothar Haasis

Robert Lord    

Nicolas Pople    

Sarri Tapales    

David Tasker    

Christian Thal-Jantzen    

Sebastian Tombs

architect, urban designer, heritage advisor for Citydesigner, CABE Building Environment Expert, chairman World Architecture News, director World Cities Network, deputy chairman Architecture Club 

architect for Camphill Architects

colour consultant, Emerson College trustee

architect, author, lecturer, teacher

design consultant, project manager, Director of Special Projects for Citydesigner

engineer, teacher

architect, lecturer and Ethical Finance Advisor

architect, ex Chief Executive, RIAS and Architecture and Design Scotland



Features editor          

Website editor          

Website technician


Sebastian Tombs

Sarri Tapales

Julian Tapales


Sponsors & Partners 2013


We are most thankful to the following organisations for their kind support