This article was originally published in Domus 602 / January 1980
Bank in Vienna
"In modern life the process of consequent stylistic progress in architecture comes to a halt. Architecture detaches itself from tradition, necessarity starting again from the beginning" — Sant'Elia.
"A disgrace to the district", "a monkey cage", "a super-style building", "a grandiose idea", "at last something different" are some of the comments that can be heard in the quarter (Favoriten, the tenth district of Vienna) since the new branch of the "Zentralsparkasse" (a large Viennese bank with branches ali over the city) was opened last spring. Those who deplore the monotony and the lack of imagination of our architecture and its dependence upon prefabricated materials and methods will realize on seeing Domenig's "organic" building, emerging with elegant aggressiveness from the humdrum neighbouring façades, what is (still / again ?) possible in architecture today.
The architect's first sketch (here reproduced) contains all the subsequent design decisions in embryo. There are the main lines, which in the general field of forces delimit the autonomy of the relationships between details and the whole.
One is tempted to compare the building to a giant, steel-armoured insect, whose internal organs are practicable from one level to another