PRINT April 1990


The performances of sacrificial rites and the erection or nomination of sacred places are one of the prime occupations of man. Directly obvious or camouflaged, they help to constitute life. Some civilizations today have lost their capacity e.g. for death rites. It is a sign of loss of capacity for living.

—Hans Hollein

FOR HANS HOLLEIN, architecture is a metaphysical instance of community rather than the result of some moment of intellectual grace. Designing and building are conditions ritual and magical, rooted in the fabric of a collective belief. Referring to an “elsewhere” apart from ordinary existence, they are situations in which to celebrate the forces of metamorphosis, the forces that oppose the inertia of the everyday. In architecture, the fury of life is cleansed and purified. Here the entire community can gather the strength to renew its dedication to the difficult exercise of

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.