Wotruba Church is quite surprising to see! A harsh structure of raw concrete blocks, put together like a wrong Lego game. Beautiful doesn’t come to mind at first glance. Startling is more likely to.
The Wotruba Church is a Brutalist construction in Vienna. Brutalism is an architectural style that flourished from 1951 to 1975, and its name comes from the French word for raw, or as Le Corbusier described it béton brut, or raw concrete. It’s expressed in massive fortress-like buildings with exposed concrete. The style is very rugged, doesn’t concern with looking comfortable or easy, and it can be seen as a reaction to the light and optimist architecture of the 1930s and 1940s.
The Kirche Zur Heiligsten Dreifaltigkeit (Church of the Most Holy Trinity), better known as the Wotruba Church, is located in the 23rd District of Vienna, about 8km from Schonbrunn Palace. It was built in 1976 and it was based on a model made by Fritz Wotruba, an Austrain sculptor.
The church really does look more like a scuplture rather than a building. And it offers you the rather rare opportunity to enter the art piece and see it from the inside. It has a total of 152 asymmetrically arranged concrete blocks weighing from 1.8 to 141 tons.
How to reach Wotruba Church
We reached it by car, it’s about 8km away from Schonbrunn Palace and 13km away from the center of Vienna (here on google maps). But you can also reach it by public transport from Schonbrunn, just take the 56A bus from Am Platz station to Valentingasse (19 stops).
We really loved to see the building in person! We had never seen a Brutalist construction, not even Alex the architect, and we were in awe of how massive and imposing it is! We even got to see it from the inside, where the Brutalism continued, displaying a harsh metal sculpture of Jesus on the wall.
It was such an interesting experience! Though I admit it might not be for everyone. When I showed the church to my sister, who is more romantic and into Art Nouveau, she kept asking me:
– But is it finished? It doesn’t look finished.
– Of course it’s finished, this is how the Brutalist style looks, I answered.
– But maybe they want to paint it and didn’t yet get to that part, she insisted.
– No, no, this is how it looks, it’s supposed to be raw concrete. I couldn’t convince her though.
What do you think? Is it something you could admire?
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