The Architect’s Eye: Captions Only


Cultured Magazine

Interior shot of the Austrian Postal Savings Bank. Photo credit: Lee F. Mindel, FAIA.

In this difficult time that has affected every corner of society, we are not separated by borders, by nations, by color, by orientation or by political belief—we are one species. While following the difficult protocol of social distancing, we must realize that we are connected by our human experience. It feels an appropriate time to come together in celebration of the cultural and artistic achievements of the human race over the centuries and millennia.

Introducing: “Captions Only.” In this series, Lee F. Mindel, co-founder of SheltonMindel, will be introducing images of places, buildings, gardens, art and architecture—and the people behind them—that have made a universal contribution to life as we know it. We begin with a staple of Viennese life: the Austrian Postal Savings Bank.

Staircase view of the bank. Photo credit: LEE F. MINDEL, FAIA.

Modern thinking, science, art and architecture is said to have its birthplace in Vienna—with intellectuals such as Ernst Mach, Sigmund Freud, Josef Hoffmann and Otto Wagner, the author of the 1896 lexicon Modern Architecture. The Austrian Postal Savings Bank was one of Wagner’s most iconic buildings. Completed in 1906, it was a new kind of civic gathering place, one that exemplified functionalism is design. As Wagner stated, “What is impractical can never be beautiful.” — LEE MINDEL

Exterior shot of the Austrian Postal Savings Bank. Photo credit: Lee F. Mindel, FAIA.