Adolf Loos

In 1870, Adolf Loos was born as the son of a stonemason in Brno Czechia. He started in his father's shop where he learned his materials. He studied architecture in Dresden (1890-1893) and afterwards he went to the United States for three years. In the States, he was most impressed by the efficiency in buildings, clothing and household furnishing. He also admired the English house and rejected the German 'Gemütlichkeit.' After the death of his father, his mother wanted him into the family business. As a result of his refusal they broke up and never saw each other again. He always let his customers pay the architect's fee in natural goods. So, even though he had no money, no car, no own house, he lived like a millionaire with several women. In 1930, the Czech president, Masaryk, offered him a life pension. During his practice as an architect, he started his own school of architecture. He encouraged his students to go to the United States. Two -now famous- students of his went there without regret: Neutra and Schindler. He wrote articles in newspapers against the Art Nouveau and especially against the Vienna Seccession. He also wrote a study about the relation between ornamentation and crime. Lack of ornament is a sign of spiritual strength he stated. He was a functionalist and opposed the idea of architecture being art. He invented the 'Raumplan' as being the leading idea in designing a house. He had friends among the intellectual elite of the city like Kokoschka, Wittgenstein and Schönberg. In 1932, deafness and other diseases plagued him. In 1933, he could not work anymore and he died in that same year.

Rein Saariste