Adolf Loos

Adolf Loos (left) with Peter Altenberg (rh), around 1905

Adolf Loos (* 10. December 1870 in Brünn; † 23. August 1933 in lime castle (today duly to Vienna)) were a Austrian architect and architectural theorist. It is considered as one of the pioneers of the modern trendin Central European architecture.


Adolf Loos was born 1870 as a son stone-cutters in Brünn. After the attendance k.k. It, interrupted by the military service, studied state State of school in realm mountain (Böhmen) and Brünn short time 1889/90 and 1892/93 at the technical universityin Dresden. 1893-1896 lived Loos in the USA and pierced themselves there with different, occupations predominantly relating to crafts.1896 it established itself finally in Vienna. There it began its activity as journalist and an architect. Admits became Loos 1898 by its series of articles for the new free one Press, in which it took position to many taste questions. After it had predominantly created longer time interior arrangements, its first larger and most well-known building was the Looshaus at the Michaelerplatz, which considered 1910 to also abroad a much public argument across the ornamentationless front led.It stands opposite the yard castle, and due to its missing Fenstergesimse also for house without brows was called. Allegedly emperor Franz Joseph the remainder of its life refused using the exit for the Michaelerplatz.

Das Haus am Michaelerplatz, 'Haus ohne Augenbrauen'
The house at the Michaelerplatz, “house without brows”

defiance of a certain influence of Otto Wagner it is considered as energetic opponents of art nouveau and in particular also to his Austrian variant, the Viennese Secession. Adolf Loos was a sharp critic of the applied art and all contemporary ideas “the art” in shape of arts and crafts with the everyday life “reconciles” thusUtensils in special way artistically to arranged. It disassociated itself thereby from the artists of the Viennese workshop in particular , who tried to convert a connection of everyday life and art since 1903.

Its most famous article is the disputation ornamentation and crime (1908). Therein one argues,that functionality and absence of ornamentations in the sense of human Kraftersparnis are an indication of high culture development and that modern humans can create real art alone in the sense of the forming art.Ornamentale ornaments or other particularly artistic organization attempts at utensils are an inadequate like redundantWork: “Certain the cultivated Erzeignisse of our time do not have connection with art. The barbarian times, in which works of art with utensils were verquickt, are finally past " are called it in addition in other place.

Instead Loos pleads for the use of noblest materials, so far seeming of Sinnlichkeitand wealth to be obtained is, as for instance in the interiors of its buildings of mansions. In the sense of a senseless human force waste Loos judges also the contemporary art-commercial and architectural reform movements and commentates the establishment of the German work federation 1908 in two spöttischen essays under the titles the redundant ones and Culture degeneration.

Adolf Loos was closely friendly with artists such as Arnold beautiful mountain, Oskar Kokoschka, Peter Altenberg and Karl Kraus for its works and success it accordingly passionately engaged itself. The Avantgardismus and the Radikalität of their artistic work faraway each acknowledgment at the contemporary publicled with Loos to the demand not to link the organization of the everyday utensils including architecture with the Ethos of serious artistic work: „The house has to please all. To differences to the work of art, which does not have to please anybody. [...] The work of art wants humans from theirComfort tear. The house has to serve the comfort. The work of art is in a revolutionary manner, the house conservative. “it is called 1910 in addition for instance in its published essay architecture. Straight its quarrelsome disposition and its often sow-Irish-covered formulations did not only provide in Vienna at that time for numerous provocations,separate its articles help to their later world fame.

In the art-historical literature Loos is considered as important Wegbereiter of the modern trend in architecture and Design with their appropriate pro grammar of “form follows function “, whereby however often ignore its critical distance from building house and German work federationbecame. He saw himself quite in the tradition of the “old Viennese” architecture for instance a Joseph Kornhäusel. Sharpening of historical city ensembles not rare in the boom of construction activity around 1900 found its violent criticism.

Predominantly Loos was as an architect busily with the building of private mansions, on the inside oneover 1910 developed “physical planner” followed, which made size and arrangement dependent on the function of the areas, it in addition with more than one storey partly into one another pit ELT and outwardly increasingly the Kubusform approximates. Loos created also numerous interior arrangements, as for instance the Café museum at the Karl place, then because ofthe “meagreness” of the mechanism by the contemporaries Café Nihilismus one called. Supraregional became the mechanism of the American admits bar in of the Kärntner road, which is called also Loos bar, and until today exists.

Its famous competition contribution, a project from the year 1922, for“Chicago grandstand” - multistoried building shows that Adolf Loos cannot be reduced simply to the term of the functionalism (as it in 60's the 20. Century for the architectural modern trend to the universal characteristic one raised): It is an office building in the monumentalisierten form of one dorischen column.

In the 20's Adolf Loos lived predominantly in Paris and maintained numerous contacts to the there artist avant-garde. He built among other things a house for Tristan Tzara and sketched also a mansion for the dancer Josephine Baker with one completely in horizontal blackand white strip front held.

1930 the built house Mueller conceived by it in Prague is kept nearly complete and today as museum restored. Is also here the outward form of the Kubus. On the inside noble materials and decorations are combined from different epochs.

The appreciationof Loos as one of the first architects of the strict, not decorative, minimum forms, colors and materials validity keeps, can be modified today however - with distance to that partially arguments polarize-mix -, whereby also during noble interior equipment with elements from different epochs, functionalityand the outside form, despite its demarcation, similarities with the building house concept is the center of attention exhibits.


  • Czech, Hermann and. Mistelbauer, Wolfgang. The Looshaus. 2. verb. Aufl. Vienna; Löckner & weighing stone, 1977.
  • Janik, Allan and. Toulmin, Stephen. Joke gene stone Vienna.U: Pure hard Merkel. Munichand Vienna: Carl Hanser, 1984.ISBN 3-446-13790-4
  • Loos, Adolf, all writings in two volumes. Hg. Franz luck. Bd. 1. Vienna: Herold, 1962.
  • Loos, Adolf. The Potemkin' city. Missing person writings. 1897 - 1933. Hg. Adolf OPEL. Vienna: George Prachner, 1983.
  • Loos, Adolf. The work of theArchitect. Hg. Heinrich Kulka. 1931: Nachdr. Vienna: Löckner, 1979.
  • Ottillinger, EH. Adolf Loos. Living concepts and furniture drafts. Salzburg and Vienna: Residence, 1994.
  • Roth, Fedor. Adolf Loos and the idea of the economic one. Vienna: Deuticke, 1995. ISBN 3-216-30143-5
  • Rukschcio, Burkhardt and. Schachel, Roland. Adolf Loos life and work.Salzburg and Vienna: Residence, 1982.ISBN 3-7017-0288-8
  • Zednicek, walter “Adolf Loos - plans, writings, photographies” ISBN 3-9500360-6-7,
  • Worbs, Dietrich. “The physical planner in housebuilding of Adolf Loos”. Adolf Loos. 1870 - 1933. Physical planner - housebuilding. Hg. The same. Berlin: Catalog to the exhibition, academy of the educationArts, 1983. 64 - 77.

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