Adolf Loos


Architect and theoretician Adolf Loos was born in Brno on 10 December 1870 as the son of Adolf Loos, Sr., a stonemason and sculptor. He spent 1889-90 and 1893 studying at the University of Technology in Dresden. He then gained experience in the USA, but returned and settled in Vienna in 1896 and worked in architect Carl Mayreder's studio. In 1908 he articulated his architectural views in an essay entitled Ornament and Crime, published in 1913 as the essential manifesto for purist architecture. Its practical examples include the Hofschneider Goldman & Salatsch department store built in St. Michael's Square in Vienna in 1911. This period saw Loos returning often to his native Moravia where Viktor Bauer, a sugar refinery owner, became Loos' most prominent customer following the war. Loos designed a villa for Bauer in Hrušovany as well as the interior of his chateau in Brno. In 1924-28 Loos stayed in Paris, where he kept in touch with Le Corbusier and other prominent figures; he designed a villa with a gallery for the dadaist poet Tristan Tzara. After he returned to Vienna in 1928, he designed his two best buildings - the Moller Villa in Vienna and the Müller Villa in Prague, in which he fully developed his Raumplan (spatial design) theory. Adolf Loos died after a long illness in Kalksburg Sanatorium near Vienna on 23 August 1933. Loos' contacts with Czech architects and artists, his implemented projects in Czechoslovakia published in professional architecture journals and translations of his theoretical studies exerted a major influence on the development of Czech architecture.