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“It is a constant juxtaposition of built form and enclosed space. An ongoing dialogue between the horizontal and the vertical, between light and shadow, between bearing and exerting loads.” (Fritz G. Mayr)
In addition to the sculptor Fritz Wotruba two other people are responsible for the realization of one of Austria’s most well-known churches: Margarethe Ottillinger, who had been incarcerated in a Soviet gulag for seven years and who out of thankfulness for her release began pushing for the construction of a church in 1964, and Fritz G. Mayr, who managed to pour Wotruba’s sculptural concept into architectural form.
The iconic building consists of 152 concrete blocks, which – like an oversized sculpture – are stacked on top of each other. Wotruba and Mayr very quickly agreed on a smooth, untextured exposed concrete surface. Figuring out how to close the spaces between the concrete blocks, on the other hand, kept them busy for the next nine years.
Currently under discussion are plans for the controversial addition of underground spaces and an elevator disturbingly encased in a huge glass block in front of the church.
(Written by Sonja Pisarik, Architekturzentrum Wien)
A lift for barrier-free access and an additional room for social activities will be inserted in the hill from June 2018 onwards.