Upper School

What is the overall difference in architectural design and atmosphere between the lower and upper school and what are the unifying qualities?

The lower school is characterized by the maturation of the etheric body and the development of the imagination. Constitutionally the lower school child lives in the rhythmic system. This calls for forms that that are more flowing, rhythmic, musical and symmetrical in character. In anthroposophical terminology we have a predominance of “sound ether forms” and the WATERY element.

The upper school was designed in collaboration with Alvyn Willams, Soft Loud House Architect. It is characterized by the maturation of the astral body and the development of the faculties of thinking, analyzing, synthesizing and understanding. In the lower school we learn by doing, in the upper school we learn to understand what we already know. The faculty of imagination, which developed in the lower school, is now able to transform itself into a capacity for creative thought. This suggests that what is needed in the upper school are forms that create interest and curiosity and are able to stimulate, awaken and enliven the capacity for lateral thinking. This should not come at the expense of rhythm and warmth of soul, but in addition to it. It is the element of LIGHT which lives in the straight line and which forms interesting and lively angles and dynamically balanced symmetries that stimulates our thought and awakens interest and alertness of mind. The anthroposophical term for this quality and force is “light ether”. In practice this means that roof lines are sharper and less curved, fascias are not round but segmented and there is a higher degree of complexity and less symmetry in the angles of floor plans and spaces created between buildings. The whole question of symmetry is further explored in the following.


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