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Adolf Loos Influential Austrian Architect British Literature Essay


Adolf Loos(1870-1933), an influential Austrian architect, custom made and campaigner for simpleness and efficiency in design. He ranks as one of the most important pioneers of the present day movement in structures. Ironically, his effect was based largely on the body of his controversial article and modern structures. His building was examples of austere beauty, which range from standard country cottages to planar compositions for storefronts and residences. His built structure were little known outside his native Austria during his early years of practice.

The Looshaus is one of is own famous building in Vienna, and though it is hard to recognize it now, in its time, his most controversial. Much of the hue and cry revolving across the building's blank upper facades, however the work also offered a new and challenging idea of spatial ordering design. The first modern office buildings built-in Vienna with metallic concrete development provides large structural spans for a far more versatile space use. The building located opposing the imperial Palace of Hofburg, and provides four reports of rentals above the business enterprise floors on the floor floor. The business enterprise surfaces were once a gentlemen's outfitter, however now serves as a lender for a public uses. The Looshaus, or 'The House Without Eyebrows', is a building that has a great historical record, and also a very interesting at the mercy of be learnt; a residence that hides a large number of scars behind its dense white facades.



Recognized among the pioneers of modern structures at the change of the century, the Viennese architect, Adolf Loos was born on Dec 10, 1870. He's the son of a stonemason and sculptor, which means that he was created to the craft of the building at his early on era. Even that so, Loos undergo deaf until the time of 12 and was hearing-impaired until the end of his life; which highly influenced his identity as an individual so when an designer.

At the age of 17, Loos went to the Royal and Imperial Express College or university at Reichenberg in Bohemia and then further his analysis in architecture at the Complex University or college of Dresden on 1890 to 1893. As students, he was specifically enthusiastic about the works of the classicist Schinkel and the works of Vitruvius. In 1896 Loos delivered to Vienna and committed himself to structures.

In 1917 he participated in World Battle I. Between 1920 and 1922 Loos did the trick as chief architect of the Department of Cover of Vienna in the newly founded Austrian Republic. Then soon grew disillusioned along with his work as chief architect therefore of his opposition, and then resigned from his post the same year he was appointed then emigrated to France in 1922. Between 1922 and 1927 Loos resided largely in Paris and the French Riviera then went back back again to Austria in 1928 and resided there intermittently until his loss of life on August 23, 1933.

He began doing structures in the overdue 1890s when Art work Nouveau was at its maximum, a period where in fact the facades of the complexes were closely ornamented. Even having a strong influential environment, Adolf Loos was not influenced by ornament by any means. He was greatly influenced by the works of Luis Sullivan, where Sullivan once quoted:

'It would be greatly for our cosmetic good, if we ought to refrain completely from the utilization of ornaments for a period of years, to ensure that our thought might concentrate acutely upon the development of structures well made and comely in the nude. "

(L. Sullivan, Kindergarten Chats and other writings, revised edition (New York: Wittenborn Schultz, 1947)

Adolf Loos unveiled himself as a first-class architect, where the dignity and the pleasantness of his interiors and their quality of being suitable for today's living conditions that have seldom been surpassed. In cases like this, Adolf Loos was inspired by an British domestic architecture, which he frequently singled out proudly for praise. Clearly, he, however, emphasized on treasured materials and the creation of flowing spaces as well as the idea of the Raumplan theory, that is related to architectural structure with amounts of space as opposed to two-dimensional planning.

As effective as his buildings were his writings, in which he published a lot of articles advocated a functional ease of form. His numerous articles; those from 1897-1900 were gathered in 1921 and released under the title 'Spoken in to the Void', and the ones from 1900-1930 were collected in 1931 under the title of 'Nevertheless'. Loos then shared this article 'Ornament and Crime'-also his most controversial writings-which in it he claimed that structures and the applied arts could do without any ornament. He also said that having less ornament was an indicator of spiritual durability, which by this has led him to be beatification as a 'pioneer' of the present day activity. Loos once said:

"Photos dematerialize reality, but just what I'd like is for individuals in my rooms to feel the materials around them. I'd like it to possess its effect on them I want them to understand the enclosing room, to feel the material, the real wood, to see it, touch it, to understand it sensually, to sit comfortably and feel the contact between the chair and a sizable part of their peripheral sense of touch, and say: this is resting as it ought to be. How can I demonstrate on a photograph how good my chair are to take a seat on? How do i make somebody who sees the photo feel it, however well the couch is photographed?"

Adolf Loos, "On Thrift" (1924)

The above quotations evidently picture his notion towards the ornament, where he actually feels that eventhough how good the ornament is, or how sensible it looks like; it still cannot illustrate the feeling it likely to; except only as a well-carved inadequate decoration.

Loos, clearly insults Vienna's hypocritical facades, on the other hand full of reward for America and Great britain. Having spent 3 years in NY during his junior time, he perceived that American and English world to be more ideal than Vienna's comparatively corrupted culture, given that they had no aspire to taint perfectly functional items with pointless modification. Corresponding to Loos, It had been useless to modify the forms of objects already adapted to their function. He entirely admired the Americans and the English for their ease and for their discretion. He admired the fusion of beauty and tool within the American and English structures, packed with the vitality so naturally lacking from Vienna's tainted modern culture.

In 1930, on his 60th birthday, Adolf Loos was officially recognized as a professional of architecture. He was bestowed with an annual honorific income by the president of the Czechoslovakian Republic. His gathered essays were publicized by the next year. He died on August 23, 1933 and was buried beneath a straightforward tombstone of his own design. His most crucial contribution to structures remains in his literary discourse.



The overarching theory of Adolf Loos about architecture was the rejection of ornament and the adaption of modern day style. He presumed that the using of ornament was a banality and excessively "sentimental. " He greatly presumed in restraining the passions and thoughts in architecture by the appearance of forms. The antonym for Loos' architectural idea would be Italian Baroque. He was surrounded in France and Austria at the time by the height of the Fine art Nouveau movement, which was very flowery, closely ornamented, and expressive. He experienced that structures and space should be clear and logical, for a individuals to be able to think and meditate. There can be an eastern quality in his idea, for the reason that one must be free from sensory distraction in order to believe rationally also to perform at the top of individual capacity.

Adolf Loos also created an almost exclusive section between the skill and architecture. The field of art work is made up of nonfunctional creations intended to distract the thoughts of the audience, as to result in a reflex emotional response. Architecture, in contrast, can be an enclosure of space that attempt to allow for a structural needs in the most efficiently functional manner, as far as possible. Therefore, art work must be excluded from architecture for a variety of reasons, that art work is accountable to no-one, and fulfills neither necessity nor function. Artwork drawing people from their comfort, and it is often hated by rational man and targeted towards something futuristic. Loos, as to define his conception on the arts, said:

"The house has to please everyone, the work of art does not. The work is a private subject for the designer. The house is not. The task of art is brought in to the world without there being truly a dependence on it. The house is a necessity. The work of artwork is accountable to none; the home is sensible to everyone. The task of art wants to pull people out of their talk about of comfort. The house has to serve comfort. The task of art is revolutionary; the home is conservative. The task of artwork shows people new directions and thinks of the future. The house believes of the present. Man loves everything that satisfies his comfort. He hates anything that wants to pull him out of his attained and secured position and that disturbs him. Thus he is in love with the home and hates art work. Will it really follow that the home has nothing in keeping with art and it is architecture not to be contained in the arts? That is so. Only an extremely small part of structures belongs to artwork: the tomb and the monument. The rest that fulfils a function is usually to be excluded from the domains of art. "

Adolf Loos is often released as the daddy of the Modem Movements, as on his attempts to modernize Vienna through the benefits of American and British culture. Adolf Loos is often called the father of Modern structures because a lot of his architectural designs contain clean, in a straight line lines and unornamented white facades. From house to tombstone, Loos stands for architecture that suit its own time, a design which with the capacity of interacting with the constantly evolving needs of the present day civilization. Loos's essays provide powerful understanding into his conception of the present day Austrian. Loos's essays touched on all aspects pertaining to modem life in Vienna. Adolf Loos is best known for his essay "Ornament and Criminal offense", in which he sarcastically compares the utilization of architectural ornaments to the "tattoos of savages. " This essay grabbed significant amounts of attentions during Loos's own life. Concerning express the frustration with the politics, cultural, and constraints of Austria, Loos often mocked Viennese culture through his written works. He noticed that the extreme amount of ornament put on the newly constructed properties were absolutely pointless and expressing a sort of pathetically regressive ideology. For Loos, ornament was a offense not because of abstract moralism in it, but rather because it presented itself as a kind of ineffective repetition, foolishness, and degeneration.


Between 1909 and 1911, Adolf Loos designed one of his most widely known works, yet his most controversial building; The Looshaus. It was built-in the plaza of michaelerplatz, positioned in the center of old vienna. This complicated design articulates theorems on the relationship between the memory space of the historic past of any great city and the invention of the new city based on the modern work of architecture. It symbolized the conference of the medieval town(middle older town) and the modern city, andalso the reaching of creation and ram. Loos intended to produce a building well included with the metropolitan textile as he discussed in a notice of Dec 6, 1910, well-published in the Neue Freie Presse under the subject "The House that faces the Hofburg".

At enough time the looshaus was conceived, the Michaelerplatz plaza contains the Michaelertrakt, Michaelertor, Michaelerkirche, dark ages residents with a traditional faade, The Herberstein mansion, and three bourgeois residences, which one of them would be replaced by the Looshaus.

Michaelerplatz plaza is dominated by the impressive neo-Baroque Michaelertor, the access gate to the Imperial Palace Hofburg. It is located at the guts of the wing of the Michaelertrakt, The domed building, also one of the most exuberant wings of the imperial palace. It had been at first designed in the 1720s by Josef Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, which is greatly full of ornaments. Along the edges of the entrances are colossal statues of Hercules.

The Michaelerkirche is the oldest building at Michaelerplatz plaza, also well known as the Saint Michael's Cathedral. It's the former parish cathedral of the Austrian monarchy, which was originally built-in 1221 but regularly widened and modified for an extent so it now. It consists of an amalgam of architectural styles with a gothic tower dates from the 14th century. Above the Baroque porch, there are always a band of sculptures depicting the Fall of Angels.

Herberstein mansion, which is situated opposite Herrengasse(Street of the Lords) from the Looshaus is a more conventional Viennese building, also named as Palais Herberstein, which was built-in 1896-1897. It changed the older composition, Palais Dietrichstein, which was famous for its Caf Griensteidl, in which a group of young poets and authors known as Jung-Wien gathered on a regular basis.

Adolf Loos searched for to create merely a modest and functional builing seen as a a mute faade that are absent from all ornamental designs. when it was built-in 1911, the Looshaus triggered a controversy because of its modern void of designs faade, very unusual in Vienna Baroque. The design of the Looshaus was seriously influenced by the nascent skyscraper structures that he had seen on a trip to the United States, a business-like style with straight lines and little if any decoration. The bottom floor of the Looshaus is for the Goldman and Salatsch gentlemen's outfitters, which belong to the public realm were decorated where in fact the upper flooring are apartment flooring stripped of ornament used for private connotation. This modern design caused such an great outcry that the development was even temporarily halted. Certain city representatives as well as leading characters in the building industry, academics and journalists launched a campaign against the building. Critical publications appeared in contemporary journals and magazines and general public lectures were organised. Loos was compelled to send alternative, more attractive, designs for the faade. Loos was only permitted to continue building the Looshaus after he promised to enhance the faade with balconies of rose boxes. Despising the modern faade opposite his palace, Emperor Franz-Joseph I, ordered that the curtains in the wing opposite the Looshaus were always shut down so he wouldn't have to look at it even once.

The building grades the rejection of historicism, as well as the ornaments utilized by the Wiener Secession. The building was completed in 1910. Upon starting, its appearance surprised Vienna's citizens, since their overall tastes was still very much historically oriented. Due to the lack of ornaments on the faade, people called it the 'house without eyebrows'. But the forms and spaces of the Looshaus are simple, he used a great deal of solid wood grains and marbles. The varieties of items in his works are geometrical and austere, yet very sensuous in the utilization of the natural quality of woods and marbles. He believed that the natural look of the materials found in architecture can serve as the ornament for decor.

The plan of the Looshaus was modified to match the circulation across the plaza, which is as a result reconfigured by time. it was built with reinforced concrete, but its composition was not apparent on the faade. It is merely visible on the inside court. For Loos, the honesty in architecture didn't necessarily mean exposing the structural skeleton, but it was more reliant on social integrity. Also, the tuscan column at the facades were solely symbolic, which they are non-load-bearing column. They appear in the early sketches of the design but were never designed to participate the structural system, which really is a self-supporting and built in with reinforced concrete shape. The columns were placed into this structure and effectively hung, decoratively information of civic symbolism. All of the heavy loads that they seemed to tolerate were actually displaced onto side columns by a large beam that spanned the complete faade. Small columns in the home windows of the mezzanine were also structurally pointless or superfluous. These columns of important marble offered only as fragmented quotations of traditional discourses.

Since Loos declined the usage of ornaments in architecture of the 19th century that was so common in Vienna that point, he was again facing a design issue how he would dress the bottom of the building in a manner that worked with his consumers' function. Having put in amount of time in Chicago before, was very alert to the ornamentation that Sullivan acquired used as an attention getting device in the Carson Piere Scott building. He then realized that something similar would be asked to decorate the Looshaus anfd then chose a marble that on one hand was as graphic as Sullivan's ornament, and at the same time connected the building directly to Rome and Roman Culture. He used Skyros marble in the interiors in the same way that he used it on the exterior pillars of the Karntner Bar-one of his earlier works-as a graphic device on its structure.

Loos contribution to architectural theory was the thought of the Raumplan, where that the interior of your building should be built-into one space. All of the individual rooms and areas in a residence should be designed in a way that they stream into one another and functions as you interior. his interiors are intricate, with multiple rooms, staircases, and layers, yet, he achieves a unity in his design so that his interiors get together. Describing his concept, Adolf Loos quoted that:

"My structures is not only conceived in plans, but in places (cubes). I do not design floor strategies, facades, parts. I design spots. For me, there is no surface floor, first floor etc. For me, there are just contiguous, continual spots, rooms, anterooms, terraces as well as others. Storeys must combine and areas need to relate with each other. Every space requires a different elevation: the dining room is surely greater than the pantry, thus the ceilings must be established to a new levels. To join these spaces in such a way that the go up and fall aren't only unobservable but also practical, in this I see what's for others the great secret, though it is for me personally a great subject of course".

Additionally, the exteriors of his buildings do not give away the picture of its inner set ups. It actually seems as though he designed the inside first and the envelopedit with a "shell" of wall membrane around it to create the exterior. Loos emphasized unity and rationality in his work, and got an evident love for both simple geometric varieties and raw-but-refined natural materials.


From what I've done in my analysis, I conclude that Adolf Loos is a superb man and a great architect, which he tries to brings modernity to his country, despite being opposed, he stands still with his own viewpoint. He attacked the imitative styling of the 19th century of ornamental decor which he believes that it is excessively done. He is a model and a seer for architects all over the world. His contribution in building and writing still provides as references for any humans who looks for modernity and fact in their life.

His building, the Looshaus, will be the proof about the existence of a great architect who seeks changes in the world that are full of primitives.

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