Loos Haus, Vienna
Adolf Loos (1870-1933)
Adolf Franz Karl Viktor Maria Loos (1870 –1933) was an Austrian-Czechoslovak architect, influential European theorist, and a polemicist of modern architecture. He was inspired by modernism and a widely-known critic of the Art Nouveau movement. His controversial views and literary contributions sparked the establishment of the Vienna Secession movement.
The Looshaus in Vienna (1910-12, formerly known as the Goldman & Salatsch Building) is one of the most important structures built in the "Wiener Moderne". The building marks the rejection of historicism, as well as the ornaments used by the Wiener Secession. its appearance shocked Vienna's citizens, since their overall taste was still very much historically oriented. Because of the lack of ornaments on the facade, people called it the 'house without eyebrows'. The simple facade led to attacks against Loos. He had to give in and promised to decorate several facade windows with flower pots.
Despite its aesthetic functionalism, the building is not a simple functional buildings - especially in the materials. There is a sharp contrast between the marble-lined facade used at the ground floor (Cipollino of Evia and Skyros marble) and the plain plaster facade of the residential floors above. The Tuscan columns on the street level - intended as an allusion to the portico of St. Michael's Church. Instead of ornaments, there are flower boxes in front of the windows of the upper floors - according to a legend, the shape of these boxes are memories of the archduke's hat and allusion to the Imperial Palace.
© Alan John Ainsworth Photography