RUDOLF STEINER SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN
The kindergarten of the Bergen Rudolf Steiner School is an untroubled little building. The plan follows the contours of the hill, and the playground backs up against large forested gardens. The straight vertical boarding on the elevations keeps the organic shapes of the curving eaves and braided woodcarvings on the gable reassuringly in check, even if the pink stain places the timber walls firmly in that realm of clay modelling and obscure spir- itual attitudes which an old Steiner school student can spot a mile off.
The world suggested by the kindergarten is surprisingly large. It stretches from an interior landscape of corners and level changes, past the curved wood around the key- hole-shaped entrance door, out among the rocks and trees, to the wide view of the Nordasvatnet lake. Wrapped snugly around the leafy hillside in the aptly named suburb of Paradis, sheltered under a big slated hat, with a host of different little openings winking in its rounded and pink facade, it displays none of the symptoms of otherworldly grandeur which can make anthroposophical architecture so tedious.
STAVANGER RUDOLF STEINER SCHOOL
You could say many things about Rudolf Steiner- people describe him variously as a bril- liant pedagogue, dilettante philosopher, clairvoyant, and charlatan. But he was not a great architect. As there are not many other original Rudolf Steiner buildings, his Goetheanum, the colossal edifice at Dornach, has been one of few models for later Steiner school buildings the world over. These are often as predictable as the original. It is a pleasant surprise to find that the design of the Stavanger school has both developed the founding ethos and added some unique touches of its own through the use of timber rather than the ubiquitous rendered concrete. Timber as a modular material, with its nat- ural origins and its industry standards clearly visible in each straight, orthogonal piece, has given the buildings a constructional expression and a lightness entirely absent in the Swiss mountain of masonry.
The final grand plan for the Stavanger school is displayed by a large model photo on the refectory wall. This dream, together with the half-finished existing complex, gives the school a pioneering air - suggesting that the world is not fixed, it is a developing place where communal efforts bring about constant, if small, improvements.