Adolf Loos, Our Contemporary. The House at Michaelerplatz in Vienna

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The exhibition celebrates the centenary of the Looshaus in Vienna and the publication of Adolf Loos’ most provocative theoretical text: “Ornament and Crime”. Its primary aim is to map some significant reactions to Loos, both among his closest followers, like Paul Engelmann, and more distant admirers such as Ernesto Nathan Rogers and Aldo Rossi. The exhibition is structured in two sections: Adolf Loos: Our Contemporary and The House at the Michaelerplatz in Vienna.

The first section centres around a series of interviews with major contemporary figures on the international scene including Hans Hollein, Hermann Czech, AlvaroSiza, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Jacques Herzog, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, ToyoIto, David Adjaye, Steven Holl, and Preston Scott Cohen. From the moment of its appearance Loos’ cultural criticism never failed to elicit controversy and outrage. Couched in the language of his day, it reads as a polemic from another era that nonetheless continues to hold its own. One of the chief objectives of the exhibition is to capture the uncanny sense of contemporaneity that Loos exerts, often in the most unobtrusive ways.

The second section anaylses what is considered the masterpiece of Loos, the house on the Michaelerplatz in Vienna, that he constructed in 1909 for the Tailoring Workshop of Goldman & Salatsch. The analysis of the building is accompanied by a rich documentation that allows us to reconstruct the salient phases of the project: the relationship with the Urban Planning Office, the other options studied by Loos in the light of the patrons’ different requests, the proposal presented for the Building Permission, the construction site designs and finally, the drawings that allow us to reconstruct in an integral manner the story of the solution for the façade that at the time unleashed a violent Press campaign against Loos’ project.

This section of the exhibition will be able to call on a great quantity of iconographic material that will allow us to reconstruct from a new point of view the origin of that particular spatial configuration that represents the most relevant contribution of Loos to the architecture of the twentieth century, the Raumplan. The graphic materials are faithfully reproduced in natural scale.
Sale Monumentali della Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venezia
1 june – 24 july 2016