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The story of the other Loos Haus


We have told you about Adolf Loos, who was not only an architect, but also an interior designer.  Loos was born in 1870 in Brno and in 1893 he left for the U.S. (initially to Philadelphia), but things did not go as planned.  When he was in New York he worked, among other things, as a dish washer during the night and assistant dish washer during the day and had little money. There is the story that one day he found 10 cents on the street and he went to an “all you can eat” buffet for 10 cents. Unfortunately, his 10 cents fell inside a large pot full of compote. In his desperation, he started eating all the compote hoping to find the coin, but the 10 cents were not there.  With no money to pay for the buffet, he asked where he could clean his shoes and slowly made his way to the back door to escape and never come back.  After his experience in the U.S., which had an important influence on him, he came back to Vienna in 1896 and, to make a long story short, he became eventually one the most prominent representatives of the Jugendstil. Perhaps his most famous building is the Loos Haus, located at the Michaelerplatz, that Franz Joseph apparently called “the House without eyebrows”.

Some days ago, we found the house where Loos lived from 1903 to 1933 (Bösendorferstrasse 3).  That house has its own unique history and it suffices to say that it was one of the first buildings to be built on the Ringstraße as it was constructed in 1860.

However, the house has changed. We don’t really know the story, but although the building goes back to the Ringstraße era, its facade would remind you more of a “Gemeindebau” due to the simplicity of its façade.  One may think it is ironic that the home of one of the leading figures of the Jugendstil has no “stil” at all.  Or perhaps it is fate that the home of the architect of the “house without eyebrows” has no eyebrows at all! (Cr).

The “10 cents story” is found in “Adolf Loos. Leben und Werk“ by Burkhardt Rukschcio and Roland Schachel.

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