Rudolf Schwarz

Architect of a different modernism

Sat 12.12.1998 – Mon 01.02.1999
Exhibition poster

Exhibition poster: Rudolf Schwarz
© Architekturzentrum Wien, photograph: C. Pfau, graphic design: Krieger|Sztatecsny, Büro für visuelle Gestaltung

Rudolf Schwarz is one of the most important architects of German post-war architecture. In Austria he erected two buildings, the churches St. Florian in Vienna and St. Theresia in Linz. Schwarz has always been regarded as a church builder although he had a different point of view on that. “The artist’s world is the world in its unbroken entirety.”

Schwarz built sacral buildings as well as important secular buildings: for example the two schools he built in Aachen , while he was the director of the Aachen Kunstgewerbeschule (1927 – 1934), in his family houses of the thirties he follows aesthetics faraway from the aesthetics officially declared, the rebuilding of the Paulskirche (church) in Frankfurt, the former Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, competitions for the theatre in Mannheim and Düsseldorf and his project for the reconstruction of the Reichstag-building in Berlin. A work becomes apparent following expressionistic “isms” as well as the tendencies of a crystalline-cool modernism, the period of the Nazi regime with its restrictions, the time of reconstruction after 1945 when Schwarz was in charge of Cologne’s urban planning and the years of consolidation.


Dietmar Steiner, Director Architekturzentrum Wien
Wolfgang Pehnt, Architectural historian
Conrad Lienhardt, Expert in art at the diocese in Linz

An exhibition by Wolfgang Pehnt, Maria Schwarz and Hilde Strohl.

Guided Tours:
Saturday, December 19th 1998, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Jnauary 9th, 1999, 3 p.m.
Saturday, January 23rd, 1999, 3 p.m.
Phone: ++41 1 522 31 15 Ext. 21 (Karin Wiederer)

“Rudolf Schwarz – architect of a different modernism”
Saturday, December 12th, 1998, 2 p.m.
Architekturzentrum Wien

sundays: “omnibus dei” (1)
Four candels of the sacral building in Advent
Sunday, December 13th, 1998, 1.30 p.m.
Architekturzentrum Wien


1897 Rudolf Schwarz is born may15 in Strassburg / Alsace.

1914 – 1918 Studies architecture at the Royal Technical University of Berlin.

1919 Studies Roman Catholic theology, history, philosophy at the University of Bonn.

1919 – 1923 Training as “Regierungsbaumeister” (master builder of the government).

1924 – 1924 Assistant and master pupil under Hans Poelzig in the master studio of the Academy of Fine Arts, Potsdam.

1925 – 1927 Teacher at the Technical Educational Establishments (Baugewerk-and Kunstgewerbeschule) Offenbach.

1927 – 1934 Director of the Aachen Handwerker and Kunstgewerbeschule .

1929 – 1930 Fronleichnamskirche in Aachen, a key building of modern sacral buildings.

1931 – 1934 Committee member of the German Werkbund.

1934 Due to the “Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums” (law for the re-establishment of civil service with tenure) Schwarz was retired, the Kunstgewerbeschule in Aachen was closed.

1934 – 1944 Free-lance architect first in Offenbach, since 1937 in Frankfurt a.M.; apartment buildings, conversions of churches.

1941 – 1944 Local planner and regional planner in “Gau Westmark “, leader of the planning authorities in Diedenhofen (Thionville) and Lorraine.

1946 – 1961 Free-lance architect in Frankfurt a. M. and Cologne, numerous churches and secular buildings.

1946 – 1952 General planner of the City of Cologne.

1956 – 1963 Schwarz is commissioned twice in Austria ­to build the churches St.Theresia in Linz and St.Florian in Vienna.

The new building of St.Theresia replaced a church destroyed during the war and situated on another site. The new building of St.Theresia replaced a church destroyed during the war and situated on another site. Following an invitation by Monsignore Otto Mauer to the Galerie nächst St.Stephan (gallery) Schwarz gives a lecture on church architecture.

Within the same year he participates in the competition for the St.Florian parish church in Vienna-Margareten. The baroque church became too small and has been removed for traffic reasons. It has been replaced by a new church, built by Schwarz on a different site offering space for two thousand believers.

1953 – 1961 Professor for urban planning and church architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf.

1961 Rudolf Schwarz dies on April 3, 1961 due to a heart attack in Cologne.