Brutalism and the Church


This church is located on a hill in Mauer, on the outskirts of Vienna, Austria.  It is the brainchild of sculptor Fritz Wotruba’s life the project’s architect, Fritz G. Mayr, is often forgotten, and was constructed in the mid-1970s.  Mayr completed the project a year after Wotruba’s death, enlarging the artist’s clay model to create a functional walk-in concrete sculpture., he result is a chaotic brutalist ensemble that toys with the boundaries between art and architecture.

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The church has a commanding view of Vienna and sits in powerful contrast to its serene environment. Additionally, Wotruba claims inspiration from the French Gothic Cathedral Chartres, even though Wotruba Church’s brutalist—or some might even say art brut—style conveys very different values.

Brutalism in architecture  has nothing to do with brutality but was derived from the French term béton-brut, that means raw concrete,.

 Swedish architect Hans Asplund who used the term New Brutalism to  describe Villa Göth in Uppsala (New Brutalism was also used by the English critic Reyner Banham, who wrote the book New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic? ).  You can see Asplund’s Brutalist church here.

villa goth
Villa Goth

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