BIRTH, EDUCATION & EARLY INFLUENCES
Born in the Czech Republic to German parents, a
sculptor and stonemason.
1880 - 1893
Attends series of Austrian and Czech technical colleges,
including architecture at Dresden Technical University.
1893 - 1896
Travels and works as a mason and ﬂoor-layer in the
U.S., where he becomes enamored with the efﬁciency
of American architecture. In particular, he comes to
admire the work of Louis Sullivan, whose aesthetic was
based on the premise that form should follow function.
First solo design at Ebenstein Couturier,
beginning of theoretical and critical activity.
Louis Sullivan 1896
Prudential Building, Buffalo NY
VIENNESE CONTEXT:THE SECESSION
Joseph Maria Olbrich 1897
Gustav Klimt 1907
“Adele Bloch-Bauer's Portrait”
Otto Wagner 1899
ORNAMENT AND CRIME
“The evolution of culture marches with
the elimination of ornament from useful
Josiah McElheny 2002
“Adolf Loos’ Ornament and Crime”
Adolf Loos Study and Documentation Center, Müller Villa homepage. http://
www.mullerovavila.cz/default-av.html. Accessed 1.29.2007.
Fiell, Charlotte & Peter. 1000 Chairs. Taschen America Llc., New York. 1998.
Galinsky, Villa Müller, Prague by Adolf Loos. http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/villamueller/
index.htm. Accessed 1.29.2007.
Loos, Adolf. Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays, ed. Adolf Opel, trans. Michael Mitchell.
Riverside, Calif.: Ariadne Press. 1998.
Oechslin, W. Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, and the Road to Modern Architecture. Trans. Lynette Widder.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2002.
Modernista, Adolf Loos. http://www.modernista.cz/english/ma_loos.html. Accessed 1.29.2007.
Wise, Michael Z. “From Modernism to Communism and Back: An Adolf Loos masterpiece
reopens in Prague”. The New York Times, 1.4.2001.
ADOLF LOOS: ORNAMENT IS CRIME.
Born in the Czech Republic to German parents, a sculptor and stonemason.
1880-90 Attended a series of technical colleges in Austria and the Czech Republic.
1892-93 Studied architecture at Dresden Technical University.
1893-96 Traveled and studied Chicago, St Louis, Philadelphia, New York, London and Paris before returning to Vienna.
1897 First solo design at Ebenstein couturierie, beginning of theoretical and critical activity.
1898 Café Museum in Vienna; referred to as “Café Nihilism” by critics.
Published quot;Ornament and Crime,quot; a legendary diatribe against adornment in design.
Looshaus,Vienna; Goldmann & Salatsch department store in stark modern style built across the street from the Hofburg
Imperial Palace in Vienna; great scandal, Austrian emperor enraged.
Steiner House, Vienna; Raumplan concept of terraced rooms ﬁrst employed.
Notorious submission to Chicago Tribune contest; his proposed tower is a giant Doric column.
Villa Müller, Prague, 1930; Loos considered this the ﬁnal realization of his anti-ornamental aesthetic and Raumplan
Died at the Kalkoburg Sanatorium near Vienna.
Villa Müller, painstakingly restored, opens to the public as a museum dedicated to the life and work of Adolf Loos.