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    Asmussen's Culture House

    by Raj Jadhav

    Austrian-born artist and scientist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) developed the "spiritual science" of anthroposophy — "a path of knowledge aiming to guide the spiritual element in the human being to the spiritual in the universe." He saw all natural phenomena as interconnected spiritually and dependent on the larger whole. To explore the integrative and holistic ideals of anthroposophy, Swedish architect Erik Asmussen built the Rudolf Steiner Seminary, at Järna, Sweden. Its social and cultural focus is the Culture House (completed in 1992), an expression of art, craft, spirituality, and functionality. — Editor

    The most intriguing feature of the Rudolf Steiner Seminary Culture House is its form. The external walls curve gently, and the roofs reach out to join the walls' curvilinear paths. At the southwest corner, the roof and the walls join in an upward ascendance to meet a rising chimney. The structure embodies Steiner's view that the form of a building must derive from the nature of the activities inside.

    The building is an assemblage of masses with each mass defining a separate function or space. The largest mass is the auditorium, establishing its functional importance within the building.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    The Culture House, principal building of the Rudolf Steiner Seminary, designed by Erik Asmussen.
    Photo: Max Plunger

    ArchWeek Image

    The auditorium with ceiling tableau, carved walls, and etched colored glass windows depicting themes of spirituality and global harmony.
    Photo: Max Plunger

     

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