The Looshaus


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Christopher Long

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A celebration of the centennial of Vienna's Looshaus—one of modernism's earliest and most controversial buildings

When it was completed in 1911, the Goldman & Salatsch Building in Vienna, commonly known as the Looshaus, incited controversy for its austerity and plainness. It represented a stark rejection of the contemporary preference for ornamentation, though its architect, Adolf Loos (1870–1933), had intended it to preserve Viennese tradition within a new modernist language. The heated debate that ensued among critics and the public set the project apart, distinguishing it as one of the most important and contentious buildings of the early 20th century.

In celebration of the Looshaus's centennial year, Christopher Long, a leading authority on Viennese architectural history, brings to light extensive new research and careful analysis that dispel long-held myths about Loos, his building, and its critical reception. The book, which features new color photography and a vast array of archival materials in print for the first time, tells the remarkable story of the Looshaus's design and construction, the political and social restlessness it reflected, and the building's fundamental role in defining the look of modernism.

Christopher Long is professor and chair of history/theory at University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. He is the author of Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design (Yale).

“Steeped in detail of every kind, this book conveys an exhilaratingly rich tableau of the Viennese world within which Adolf Loos operated, and makes a very valuable contribution to the study of a building already widely acknowledged as among the most important early 20th-century additions to the architecture of Vienna, a key site in the evolution of early Modernism.”—Elizabeth Clegg, author of Art, Design, and Architecture in Central Europe 1890–1920

“Immensely detailed. . . . Christopher Long has uncovered all the difficulties Loos encountered in his attempt to ‘build an idea’ in the early days of twentieth-century modernism. How clearly does Loos’s architectural language speak above the opinionated noise of historical struggles? This book gives us all the background information we need to enable us to make a calm judgement about the lasting quality of the architecture of the Looshaus.”--Colin Amery, The Burlington Magazine 

“Exceptionally well written and illustrated… [an] affectionate and scrupulously detailed tribute to an easily overlooked building.”

"Informative and entertaining..."—Frank Whitford, Times Literary Supplement

"Authoritative about the design and rich in detail about Viennese society and art."—Stanley Abercrombie, Interior Design
ISBN: 9780300174533
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
256 pages, 6 x 9
36 color + 101 b/w illus.
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