Adolf Loos Influential Austrian Architect English Literature Essay Free Essay


Adolf Loos ( 1870-1933 ) , an influential Austrian designer, interior decorator and candidate for simpleness and functionality in design. He ranks as one of the most of import innovators of the modern motion in architecture. Ironically, his influence was based mostly on the organic structure of his controversial essay and modern architecture. His edifice was illustrations of severe beauty, runing from conventional state bungalows to planar composings for shopfronts and abodes. His reinforced composing were small known outside his native Austria during his early old ages of pattern.

The Looshaus is one of his celebrated edifice in Vienna, and though it is difficult to acknowledge it now, in its clip, his most controversial. Much of the chromaticity and call go arounding around the edifice ‘s clean upper frontages, but the work besides offered a new and ambitious thought of spacial telling design. The first modern office edifices built in Vienna with steel concrete building provides broad structural spans for a more flexible infinite usage. The edifice located opposing the imperial Palace of Hofburg, and provides four narratives of flats above the concern floors on the land floor. The concern floors were one time a gentlemen ‘s outfitter, but now serves as a bank for a public utilizations. The Looshaus, or ‘The House Without Eyebrows ‘ , is a edifice that has a great historical background, and besides a really interesting topic to be learnt ; a house that hides 1000s of cicatrixs behind its thick white frontages.

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Recognized as one of the innovators of modern architecture at the bend of the century, the Viennese designer, Adolf Loos was born on December 10,1870. He is the boy of a stonemason and sculpturer, which means that he was introduced to the trade of the edifice at his early age. Even that so, Loos suffer deaf until the age of 12 and was hearing-impaired until the terminal of his life ; which extremely influenced his character as an person and as an creative person.

At the age of 17, Loos attended the Royal and Imperial State College at Reichenberg in Bohemia and so further his survey in architecture at the Technical University of Dresden on 1890 to 1893. As a pupil, he was peculiarly interested in the plants of the classicist Schinkel and the plants of Vitruvius. In 1896 Loos returned to Vienna and devoted himself to architecture.

In 1917 he participated in World War I. Between 1920 and 1922 Loos worked as head designer of the Department of Housing of Vienna in the freshly established Austrian Republic. He so shortly grew disillusioned with his work as head designer as a consequence of his resistance, and so resigned from his station the same twelvemonth he was appointed so emigrated to France in 1922. Between 1922 and 1927 Loos lived largely in Paris and the Gallic Riviera so returned back to Austria in 1928 and lived there intermittently until his decease on August 23, 1933.

He began practising architecture in the late ninetiess when Art Nouveau was at its extremum, a period where the frontages of the edifices were to a great extent ornamented. Even holding a strong influential environment, Adolf Loos was non affected by decoration at all. He was greatly influenced by the plants of Luis Sullivan, where Sullivan one time quoted:

‘It would be greatly for our aesthetic good, if we should forbear wholly from the usage of decorations for a period of old ages, in order that our idea might concentrate acutely upon the production of edifices good formed and comely in the nude. ”

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

Adolf Loos revealed himself as a first-class designer, where the self-respect and the pleasantness of his insides and their quality of being suited for a modern life conditions which have seldom been surpassed. In this instance, Adolf Loos was inspired by an English domestic architecture, which he often singled out proudly for congratulations. Clearly, he, nevertheless, emphasized on cherished stuffs and the creative activity of fluxing infinites and besides the impression of the Raumplan construct, that is related to architectural composing with volumes of infinite as opposed to planar planning.

Equally effectual as his edifices were his Hagiographas, in which he wrote a batch of articles advocated a functional simpleness of signifier. His legion articles ; those from 1897-1900 were collected in 1921 and published under the rubric ‘Spoken into the Void ‘ , and those from 1900-1930 were collected in 1931 under the rubric of ‘Nevertheless ‘ . Loos so published the article ‘Ornament and Crime’-also his most controversial writings-which in it he claimed that architecture and the applied humanistic disciplines could make without any decoration. He besides claimed that the deficiency of decoration was a mark of religious strength, which by this has led him to be blessedness as a ‘pioneer ‘ of the modern motion. Loos one time said:

“ Photographs dematerialize world, but exactly what I want is for people in my suites to experience the stuff around them. I want it to hold its consequence on them I want them to be cognizant of the enclosure room, to experience the stuff, the wood, to see it, touch it, to comprehend it sultrily, to sit comfortably and experience the contact between the chair and a big country of their peripheral sense of touch, and state: this is sitting as it should be. How can I show on a exposure how good my chairs are to sit on? How can I do a individual who sees the exposure experience it, nevertheless good the chair is photographed? ”

Adolf Loos, “ On Thrift ” ( 1924 )

The above quotes clearly image his perceptual experience towards the decoration, where he really thinks that eventhough how good the decoration is, or how realistic it looks like ; it still can non show the feeling that it supposed to ; demur merely as a well-carved useless ornament.

Loos, clearly insults Vienna ‘s hypocritical frontages, in contrast full of congratulations for America and England. Having spent three old ages in New York during his young person clip, he perceived that American and English society to be much more ideal than Vienna ‘s relatively corrupted civilization, since they had no desire to defile absolutely functional objects with unpointed alteration. Harmonizing to Loos, It was useless to modify the signifiers of objects already adapted to their map. He wholly admired the Americans and the English for their simpleness and for their discretion. He admired the merger of beauty and public-service corporation found in the American and English architecture, full of the verve so evidently missing from Vienna ‘s corrupt society.

In 1930, on his sixtieth birthday, Adolf Loos was officially recognized as a maestro of architecture. He was bestowed with an one-year honorific income by the president of the Czechoslovakian Republic. His gathered essays were published by the undermentioned year.He died on August 23, 1933 and was buried beneath a simple gravestone of his ain design. His most important part to architecture remains in his literary discourse.



The overarching theory of Adolf Loos about architecture was the rejection of decoration and the adaptation of modern-day manner. He believed that the utilizing of decoration was a platitude and excessively “ sentimental. ” He greatly believed in keeping the passions and emotions in architecture by the look of signifiers. The opposite word for Loos ‘ architectural doctrine would be Italian Baroque. He was surrounded in France and Austria at the clip by the tallness of the Art Nouveau motion, which was really flowery, to a great extent ornamented, and expressive. He felt that architecture and infinite should be clear and rational, in order for a human to be able to believe and chew over. There is an eastern quality in his doctrine, in that one must be free from centripetal distraction in order to believe rationally and to execute at the extremum of human capacity.

Adolf Loos besides created an about sole division between the art and architecture. The field of art is comprised of nonfunctional creative activities created to deflect the emotions of the spectator, as to do a automatic emotional response. Architecture, in contrast, is an enclosure of infinite that effort to suit a structural demands in the most expeditiously functional mode, every bit far as possible. Therefore, art must be excluded from architecture for a battalion of grounds, that art is responsible to no 1, and fulfills neither demand nor map. Art pulling people off from their comfort, and it is frequently hated by rational adult male and aimed towards something futuristic. Loos, as to specify his perceptual experience towards the humanistic disciplines, said:

“ The house has to delight everyone, the work of art does non. The work is a private affair for the creative person. The house is not.The work of art is brought into the universe without there being a demand for it. The house is a demand. The work of art is responsible to none ; the house is responsible to everyone. The work of art wants to pull people out of their province of comfort. The house has to function comfort. The work of art is radical ; the house is conservative. The work of art shows people new waies and thinks of the hereafter. The house thinks of the present. Man loves everything that satisfies his comfort. He hates everything that wants to pull him out of his acquired and secured place and that disturbs him. Therefore he loves the house and hates art. Does it follow that the house has nil in common with art and is architecture non to be included in the humanistic disciplines? That is so. Merely a really little portion of architecture belongs to art: the grave and the memorial. Everything else that fulfils a map is to be excluded from the sphere of art. ”

Adolf Loos is frequently announced as the male parent of the Modem Movement, as on his efforts to overhaul Vienna through the debut of American and British civilization. Adolf Loos is frequently called the male parent of Modern architecture because many of his architectural designs contain clean, consecutive lines and plain white facades.From house to tombstone, Loos stands for architecture that suit its ain clip, a design which capable of run intoing the invariably germinating demands of the modern civilisation. Loos ‘s essays provide powerful understanding into his construct of the modern Austrian. Loos ‘s essays touched on all facets refering modem life in Vienna. Adolf Loos is best known for his essay “ Ornament and Crime ” , in which he sardonically compares the use of architectural decorations to the “ tattoos of barbarians. ” This essay grabbed a great trade of attendings during Loos ‘s ain life. As to show the defeat with the political, cultural, and restrictions of Austria, Loos frequently mocked Viennese civilization through his written plants. He felt that the inordinate sum of decoration applied to the freshly constructed edifices were perfectly unneeded and showing a kind of pitiably regressive political orientation. For Loos, decoration was a offense non because of abstract moralism in it, but instead because it presented itself as a signifier of useless repeat, folly, and devolution.


Between 1909 and 1911, Adolf Loos designed one of his best known plants, yet his most controversial edifice ; The Looshaus. It was built in the place of michaelerplatz, located in the bosom of old Vienna. This complex design articulates theorems on the relationship between the memory of the historic yesteryear of a great metropolis and the innovation of the new metropolis based on the modern work of architecture. It symbolized the meeting of the mediaeval town ( in-between aged town ) and the modern metropolis, andalso the meeting of creative activity and memory. Loos intended to make a edifice good integrated with the urban cloth as he explained in a missive of December 6, 1910, well-published in the Neue Freie Presse under the rubric “ The House that faces the Hofburg ” .

At the clip the looshaus was conceived, the Michaelerplatz place consisted of the Michaelertrakt, Michaelertor, Michaelerkirche, in-between ages occupants with a classical facade, The Herberstein sign of the zodiac, and three businessperson houses, which one of them would be replaced by the Looshaus.

Michaelerplatz place is dominated by the impressive neo-Baroque Michaelertor, the entryway gate to the Imperial Palace Hofburg. It is located at the centre of the wing of the Michaelertrakt, The vaulted edifice, besides one of the most ebullient wings of the imperial castle. It was originally designed in the 1720s by Josef Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, which is greatly abundant with decorations. Along the sides of the entrywaies are prodigious statues of Hercules.

The Michaelerkirche is the oldest edifice at Michaelerplatz place, besides good known as the Saint Michael ‘s Church.It is the former parish church of the Austrian monarchy, which was originally built in 1221 but on a regular basis expanded and modified to an extent that it now. It consists of an amalgam of architectural manners with a Gothic tower day of the months from the fourteenth century. Above the Baroque porch, there are a group of sculptures picturing the Fall of Angels.

Herberstein sign of the zodiac, which is located opposite Herrengasse ( Street of the Lords ) from the Looshaus is a more conventional Viennese edifice, besides named as Palais Herberstein, which was built in 1896-1897. It replaced the older construction, Palais Dietrichstein, which was celebrated for its Cafe Griensteidl, where a group of immature poets and authors known as Jung-Wien gathered on a regular footing.

Adolf Loos sought to make simply a modest and functional builing characterized by a deaf-and-dumb person facade which are absent from all cosmetic ornaments. when it was built in 1911, the Looshaus caused a contention due to its modern nothingness of ornaments facade, really unusual in Vienna Baroque. The design of the Looshaus was to a great extent influenced by the nascent skyscraper architecture that he had seen on a trip to the United States, a business-like manner with consecutive lines and small or no ornament. The land floor of the Looshaus is for the Goldman and Salatsch gentlemen ‘s outfitters, which belong to the public kingdom were decorated where the upper floors are apartment floors stripped of decoration used for private intension. This modern design caused such an great call that the building was even temporarily halted. Certain metropolis functionaries together with prima figures in the building industry, faculty members and journalists launched a run against the edifice. Critical publications appeared in modern-day diaries and newspapers and public talks were held. Loos was compelled to subject alternate, more cosmetic, designs for the facade. Loos was merely allowed to go on constructing the Looshaus after he promised to adorn the facade with balconies of flower boxes. Contemning the modern facade opposite his castle, Emperor Franz-Joseph I, ordered that the drapes in the wing opposite the Looshaus were ever closed so he would n’t hold to look at it even one time.

The edifice marks the rejection of historicism, every bit good as the decorations used by the Wiener Secession. The edifice was finished in 1910. Upon gap, its visual aspect shocked Vienna ‘s citizens, since their overall gustatory sensation was still really much historically oriented. Because of the deficiency of decorations on the facade, people called it the ‘house without superciliums ‘ . Although the signifiers and infinites of the Looshaus are simple, he used a batch of wood grains and marbles. The signifiers of objects in his plants are geometrical and severe, yet really sensuous in the usage of the natural quality of forests and marbles. He believed that the natural expression of the stuffs used in architecture can function as the decoration for ornaments.

The program of the Looshaus was adapted to suit the circulation around the place, which is accordingly reconfigured by was built with strengthened concrete, but its construction was non evident on the facade.It is merely seeable on the interior tribunal. For Loos, the honestness in architecture did non needfully intend exposing the structural skeleton, but it was more reliant on cultural unity. Besides, the Tuscan column at the frontages were strictly symbolic, which they are non-load-bearing column. They appear in the early studies of the design but were ne’er intended to be portion of the structural system, which is a self-supporting and integrated with strengthened concrete frame. The columns were placed into this frame and efficaciously hung, decoratively figures of civic symbolism. All the heavy tonss that they seemed to bear were really displaced onto side columns by a big beam that spanned the full facade. The smaller columns in the Windowss of the first balcony were besides structurally unneeded or otiose. These columns of cherished marble served merely every bit disconnected citations of traditional discourses.

Since Loos rejected the use of decorations in architecture of the nineteenth century which was so prevailing in Vienna that clip, he was once more confronting a design quandary on how he was traveling to dress the underside of the edifice in a manner that worked with his consumers ‘ map. Having exhausted clip in Chicago before, was really cognizant of the ornamentation that Sullivan had used as an attending acquiring device in the Carson Piere Scott edifice. He so realized that something similar would be required to adorn the Looshaus anfd so chose a marble that on one manus was every bit in writing as Sullivan ‘s decoration, and at the same clip connected the edifice straight to Rome and Roman Culture. He used Skyros marble in the insides in the same manner that he used it on the exterior pillars of the Karntner Bar-one of his old works-as a in writing device on its construction.

Loos part to architectural theory was the thought of the Raumplan, where that the inside of a edifice should be integrated into one infinite. All the separate suites and infinites in a house should be designed in a manner that they flow into one another and maps as one inside. his insides are complex, with multiple suites, stairwaies, and beds, yet, he achieves a integrity in his design so that his insides come together. Describing his construct, Adolf Loos quoted that:

“ My architecture is non merely conceived in programs, but in infinites ( regular hexahedrons ) . I do non plan floor programs, frontages, subdivisions. I design infinites. For me, there is no land floor, first floor etc. For me, there are merely immediate, continual infinites, suites, antechambers, patios and others. Storeys must unify and infinites need to associate to each other. Every infinite requires a different tallness: the dining room is certainly higher than the larder, therefore the ceilings must be set to a different degrees. To fall in these infinites in such a manner that the rise and autumn are non merely unobservable but besides practical, in this I see what is for others the great secret, although it is for me a great affair of class ” .

Additionally, the outsides of his edifices do non give away the image of its interior constructions. It really seems as if he designed the inside foremost and the envelopedit with a “ shell ” of wall around it to organize the outside. Loos emphasized integrity and reason in his work, and had an obvious love for both simple geometric signifiers and raw-but-refined natural stuffs.


From what I ‘ve done in my survey, I conclude that Adolf Loos is a great adult male and a great designer, which he tries to convey modernness to his state, despite being opposed, he stands still with his ain doctrine. He attacked the imitative styling of the nineteenth century of cosmetic ornaments which he thinks that it is overly done. He is a theoretical account and a visionary for designers all over the universe. His part in planing and composing still serves as mentions for all worlds who seeks modernness and truth in their life.

His edifice, the Looshaus, will be the grounds about the being of a great designer who seeks alterations in the universe that are full of primitives.

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