Speaking of Otto Wagner’s Kirche am Steinhof in Vienna, J.A. Lux has said, “Whoever believes that the mystical-religious impulse is nurtured in the semi-darkness of a poorly ventilated, cold and damp interior is brilliantly contradicted by Wagner’s building.”
I couldn’t agree more. Gothic gloom and Protestant cinder blocks do not stir the religious soul. I can imagine certain philistine objections to such ecclesiastical ostentation. Needless to say, die Kirche am Steinhof is more than a church, it’s an exercise in public imagination. We need more of this in our concrete-choked cities.
Wagner’s church is in the grounds of a psychiatric clinic. I can think of no better place to hear the voice of God.