Author(s): Beatriz Colomina
Adolf Loos held that a building should have a soberly discreet exterior, reserving all its riches for its interior. Given that, any real appreciation of the spatial complexity of the work of one of the most misunderstood architects of the twentieth century requires engagement with his interiors, which this book does, brilliantly. In marked contrast to his contemporaries in the Vienna Secession, who designed their spaces down to the smallest detail, Loos presented himself as a "professor of interior design," perfectly willing to adapt to the habits and tastes of his clients, inviting them to embrace their own tastelessness rather than defer to the discernment of an "aesthete" architect. Together with the future occupant, he designed welcoming interiors whose warmth came from the effective use of quality materials and the creation of a flowing continuity articulated by the furnishings. What Loos created thereby was not merely architecture, but a new culture of living.
Beatriz Colomina is professor of history and theory of architecture and director of the media and modernity program at Princeton University. Markus Kristan is the curator of the architect's collection at the Albertina museum in Vienna. Christian Kuhn is chairman of the Austrian Architectural Foundation. Christopher Long is the author of The New Space: Movement and Experience in Viennese Modern Architecture. Juan Jose Lahuerta is professor of art and architecture history at the Escola Tecnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona (ETSAB-UPC) and director of the Gaudi Chair at ETSAB-UPC. Pilar Parcerisas is a freelance curator.