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Nature in Building: Rudolf Steiner in Dornach

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A photograph near the end of Nature in Building: Rudolf Steiner in Dornach ( Birkhäuser, 128pp, £18) shows Frank Gehry’s Vitra Design Museum: what Werner Blaser suggests is that Steiner’s buildings, dating from the early 20th century and conceived to precise (if esoteric) symbolic ends, can be seen as presaging today’s ‘organic architecture’of Gehry and others. The argument is not explored at any length and is anyway contentious. ‘Every building is something special, unique, is something that relates with the location and can be integrated into the landscape, ‘says Blaser of organic architecture; one could hardly say that ‘integration with the landscape’ is a Gehry trademark these days. Nor are Steiner’s buildings analysed in detail in the book, but they have been sensitively photographed by Blaser, allowing us to decide for ourselves how germinative, expressive or simply perverse they might be.

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