Haus Vreede in Arlesheim

Architecture Walk Dornach Arlesheim: the language of living forms

Exploring sculptural-organic architecture

Around 180 buildings, including many private homes, were erected around the famous Goetheanum over the last 100 years. The form language they share is typical of the Goethean or sculptural-organic building style. In celebration of the 150th birthday of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy and designer of the Goetheanum, these buildings have been documented for the first time in an architectural guide book.*

The buildings not only share the same architectural features, with one another and with the Goetheanum, their orientation and location – perched on a hill above the valley of the river Birs – also reflect the original concept of an "Anthroposophists' Colony" where members of the Anthroposophical Society could live and work. This social and spatial organism is unique in the world and, despite many social and architectural transformations over time, its qualities are still noticeable today.

Based on the new architectural guide and with the support of the Dornach and Arlesheim town councils, four walks have been created that make these spatial qualities visible and open the Anthroposophists’ Colony to a wider public: Visitors can explore the hill on sign-posted 90-minute walks that take in a selection of buildings. The starting point for all four walks is at the Goetheanum from where they lead off in four different directions towards Dornach or Arlesheim. The walks are colour-coded for easier orientation.

Take a walk and enter a world of extraordinary forms: discover houses with beautifully shaped gates, vaulted roofs and organically curved stairways, set within enchanted gardens and parkland.

Jolanthe Kugler


* Jolanthe Kugler (ed.), Architekturführer Goetheanumhügel.
   Die Dornacher Anthroposophen-Kolonie, Verlag Niggli, Switzerland





               What we call organic architecture
               is no mere aesthetic nor cult nor fashion
               but an actual movement
               based upon a profound idea
               of a new integrity of human life
               wherein art, religion and science are one:
               form and function seen as one…

                                                    Frank Lloyd Wright