AD Classics: Holy Cross Church in Chur, Switzerland / Walter Förderer

Photo by Sebastian F - -2.JPG

Standing at the foot of the Alps is the highly contemporary Holy Cross Church in Chur, . Designed by Basel born Swiss architect Walter Förderer, the church evokes strong features of Brutalism. Built between 1966 to 1969, the church appears like a mass fortress that conveys a symbolic defensive attitude.

The polygonal tower at the south west corner of the building is the dominant feature that contains four bells: the trinity bell, the cross bell, the peace bell, and the Marien bell.

Photo by Magnus -

The Roman Catholic Church was assembled through a layered concrete construction, with dominant uneven forms tying in and out of each other. The dark semi-circular interior was built entirely out local concrete and wood materials that contrast with each other creating a powerful sacred space.

Photo by Magnus -

More interestingly, are the numerous visible details of the structure and materials, such as the wood textured concrete, the pews locking into the concrete face, and the integration of the handrails into the composition.

Photo by Magnus -

Architect: Walter Förderer
Location: Chur, Switzerland
Project Year: 1966-1969
References:  Magsmag
Photographs: Wikimedia user: Sebastian F, Blogspot user: kylähulluTumbler user: Magnus

Cite: Pagnotta, Brian. "AD Classics: Holy Cross Church in Chur, Switzerland / Walter Förderer" 09 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Mac Gordon, A.I.A.

    I’d love to see this and other buildings by Forderer; is there any monograph about his work?

  • Daniel Förderer

    Yes there is monograph:
    Walter M. Förderer
    Architecture – Sculpture
    Edition du Griffon Neuchatel Suisse