St. Florian Monastery
Cornell University Eidlitz Travel Fellowship (2019)
St. Florian, Austria
Proposal: to document the site and sequence of space of the St. Florian Monastery
Eidlitz Travel Fellowship ︎︎︎
The largest monastery in Upper Austria, St. Florian is a beautifully preserved example of baroque architecture. After walking up the hillside town, the inhabitant passes through a gateway, across a yard, under a portal, and into the main quadrangle. Behind the opposing facade of the quadrangle lies the beautiful library.
I had the pleasure of staying in the cloister for a week as a guest of the monks to study the library and grounds. This is a small selection of the photographs taken during my stay.
The monastery has a real generosity of space. There is a separate morning prayer chapel and afternoon prayer chapel, each taking best advantage of the light at that time of day. There are separate cloaking rooms, one for the priests and one for the abbot. There is even a beautiful hall jutting out into the landscape reserved just for summer lunches. As is typical with baroque monasteries, long, straight corridors are employed to give the inhabitant time to collect their thoughts before entering new spaces.
The Cloister Hallway has an incredibly simple material palette: white walls and grey tiled floors. The only ornamentation lives on the ceiling plane and extended height door headers. This architectural effect sets the stage for a dramatic turn of events when entering one of the several ornate rooms off the corridor. Perhaps the most embellished of all, the Monastery Library is a beautiful sculptural feat. The ornate balcony dances around the curved bookshelves. The warm wood makes the room feel grounded and welcoming, while the light frescoed ceiling keeps it airy. It is a sanctuary of knowledge; a nest for the mind.