Built between 1925 and 1927 by architect Karl Moser, the church in the St. Johann district was Switzerland's first concrete place of worship, built from unfinished exposed concrete.
It was the first church in Switzerland built in reinforced, raw concrete — in 1927, some 25 years before the term brutalism was coined. Karl Moser's St. Anthony’s Church is an uncompromising feat of superlatives: the church tower rises 62 metres into the sky, the austere architecture recalls industrial buildings. The exposed concrete church also broke new artistic ground in the shape of huge glass paintings by Otto Staiger and Hans Stocker. This was so outrageously modern the locals coined a new word for it: “soul silo”. At the same time ruthlessly stark and awe-inspiring in its monumentality, the sacral gesamtkunstwerk attracted a great deal of attention internationally. St. Anthony’s Church ranks among the most important and iconic works of modern architecture in Switzerland. No wonder it remains a popular place of pilgrimage for architects and brutalism fans from all over the world.
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