Learning to Dwell: Adolf Loos in the Czech Lands
It might be the generation of architects that followed - from Le Corbusier, to Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright - that usually steal the spotlight when it comes to great architecture masters namedropping, however were it not for Moravia-born architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933), today’s design history books may have looked very different indeed.
Germany-educated Loos led the way towards the International Style with several built projects and essays, like his seminal 1908 work ‘Ornament and Crime’. In Le Corbusier’s own words: ’Loos swept right beneath our feet, and it was a Homeric cleansing -- precise, philosophical and logical. In this Loos has had a decisive influence on the destiny of architecture.’
Paying tribute to this architecture pioneer, the RIBA, together with the City of Prague Museum, the Czech Centre London and the Austrian Cultural Forum London, is hosting a large-scale exhibition at its London headquarters, opening this week. The show leads the visitor from the architect’s designs in the cities of Prague, Pilsen and Brno, through to his works in Austria, where he lived for many years, as well as the more recent restoration works at his iconic Villa Müller (1928-30).
Feast your eyes on some of the Czech architect’s best creations; from famous villas, like the Villa Müller and the house for Josef Winternitz (1931-32), to furniture designs such as the ’Modernista’ chaise-longue, and his beautifully detailed interiors – examples are the Café Museum and the Kartner (American) Bar. Drawings, models and original furniture, never seen before in Britain, will be gracing both RIBA exhibition galleries, while previously unseen material from the RIBA collections (who contributed to the Adolf Loos Archive) will also take centre stage.
From lesser-known facts for the history buffs, to great photography and, of course, iconic architectural design in abundance, this exhibition will have something for everybody.