Looshaus

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The Looshaus at Michaelerplatz
Looshaus (detail)
Skylight at the main staircase
The room heights vary according to the requirements

The Looshaus is a building in Vienna designed by Adolf Loos, regarded as one of the central buildings of Viennese Modernism. It marks the departure from historicism, but also from the floral decor of Secession. It is at the address Michaelerplatz 3, opposite the Michaelertrakt of the Hofburg.

History[edit]

In 1909, Leopold Goldmann gave Adolf Loos the construction contract for the construction of a business building for the Nobel business Goldman & Salatsch after an architectural competition, from which no victorious draft was emerging. The construction manager was Ernst Epstein. It was built by the construction company Pittel + Brausewetter.

In 1944 the Looshaus was also affected by a bombing in the neighboring Hochhaus. In 1947 the house was put under monument protection. In the 1960s there was a furniture store in the main shop of the building. In 1987 the Raiffeisenbank bought the building and renovated it.

Design[edit]

Despite its aesthetic functionalism, the building is not a simple purpose building; especially the materials have not saved costs or effort. The contrast between the marble-clad lower facade area (Cipollino from Euboea)[1] and the simple plaster façade of the above-mentioned residential floors is striking.

The business area is preceded by a colonnade with Tuscan columns, designed as an allusion to the portico of the Michaelerkirche. Instead of ornaments, the upper storeys have flower boxes in front of the windows; according to the legend, the form should remind the Archduke and be an allusion to the Hofburg.

Reception[edit]

After its completion, the house caused a shock in the city, which was still characterized by its historical taste. It was called by the Viennese "a house without eyebrows", since the window-roofing which was usual at that time was completely missing. It was said that Emperor Franz Joseph had not only avoided passing next to Looshaus for the rest of his life by using the exit at the Michaelerplatz, but also had to leave the windows of the Hofburg nailed so that he did not have to see the "hideous" house anymore.

Designzone Looshaus[edit]

Since 2002, the "Looshaus" design zone has been located in Paolo Piva's new basement of the Looshaus.[2] The international exhibitions and events taking place there are intended to draw attention to the importance of Austrian design as an impetus for the economy. In addition, the award-winning models of the Adolf Loos Staatsreis Design are exhibited there.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Seemann, Robert; Summesberger, Herbert (1998). Wiener Steinwanderwege. Die Geologie der Großstadt. Wien. pp. 51–52. ISBN 3-85447-787-2.
  2. ^ "Designzone Looshaus" (in German). Retrieved 4 June 2017.

External links[edit]