Brutalism in Vienna: the unique Wotruba church


Last year, whilst browsing through our background research into the historical context of the Southbank Centre, an old photograph of an amazing church caught my eye. A few days ago, I took the opportunity to visit the Wotruba church building in Mauer, on the outskirts of Vienna.
It looked even better than I had imagined: a very unique piece of dynamic Brutalist architecture that transforms with every viewpoint.
Enormous and varied rectangular blocks of cast concrete, randomly and loosely stacked, form an envelope like a cubist rock-face. The 152 insitu cast blocks vary from 2 to 141 tons.
Perhaps not suprisingly, this expressive and sculptural building was designed by a sculptor, Fritz Wotruba, and his 1968 design was realised between 1974-76 with collaborating architect Fritz Mayr.
Wotruba had developed his cubist language through his career, reducing figurative form into cuboid elements. Many of his works can be seen in Vienna…

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