Wotruba Church, 2017
Singing in a choir was for a long time considered as old-fashioned. But then came Schmusechor and delivered some sexy pop appeal to it. Schmusechor is about smooching (as the name indicates), spreading love and good vibes. The combo was formed in the bedroom of conductor Verena Giesinger and has grown ever since. The big choir (currently consisting of 35 people) sets its audience on fire with enthusiasm, flamboyance and of course their badass singing. No doubt, Schmusechor sets the bar immensely high with their a cappella covers of artists like Alt-J, Kanye West or – like for our session filmed at Wotruba Church – David Bowie. You can also watch a lovely from the studio rehearsal and the filming session. And now bring on the glitter!
Located at the very edge of Vienna, where single-family houses give way to the Vienna Woods, Wotruba Church stands out as an abstract, oversized sculpture. Given that it was designed by the sculptor Fritz Wotruba, it does not come as a surprise that children feel tempted to climb the concrete blocks and visitors describe the feeling like walking into an enlarged sculpture. The church was conceived in 1964, but the construction only took place a decade later between 1974 and 1976 by the architect Fritz G. Mayr. So Fritz Wotruba, who died in 1975, has never seen it completed. However, Wotruba’s aim to “design something that shows that poverty does not have to be ugly, that renunciation may be in an environment that is beautiful despite the greatest simplicity” seems to have worked out. Against all initial scepticism the Brutalist church consisiting of 152 asymmetrically arranged concrete blocks is nowadays a popular destination.