Adolf Loos 150
150 years. This is precisely how many years will have passed this year since the birth of Brno native and world-famous architect Adolf Loos. That is why, this year, we are celebrating the Year of Adolf Loos nationwide, the aim of which is to commemorate the anniversary of Adolf Loos for the Czech and European public in a cultivated way and to draw attention to his completed as well as unrealised projects. Other cities in which Loos worked are also involved in the celebrations, that is Pilsen and Prague. His hometown of Brno wishes to commemorate the round anniversary of the founder of modern architecture and the leading representative of architectural purism with several events for the general and professional public.
Exhibition: Adolf Loos, The European. Not Only Brno Trails
The aim of the exhibition is to present a selection of Adolf Loos’ works, especially his work for his native Brno and Moravia. The exhibition will present the ideological and expressive concepts of the architect’s work in a visually appealing way. It will introduce the work of the creator which, at the time of their creation, belonged among the main bearers and representatives of contemporary global architectural trends – not just in the Czech lands. The modernist dimension of his work, based on aesthetics free of all ornaments, meant a civilising leap that paved the way for the adoption and promotion of new architecture in the European space. The exhibition will undoubtedly give impetus to a socially necessary reflection on the values of modernity and will also give impetus to the more consistent conservation of monuments. The exhibition will present authentic documents, historical as well as contemporary photographs, models, visualisations, and more.
Where: in the Brno City Museum, in the west wing of the Spilberk Castle
When: 11 June – 31 December 2020
Exhibition Authors: Jindřich Chatrný – Dagmar Černoušková, Professional collaboration: Jana Kořínková, Pavla Cenková, Tomáš Zapletal
Unveiling of the Monument to Architect Adolf Loos (in mid-July)
The unveiled monument is conceived as a concrete sculptural form of Adolf Loos’ headstone, situated at the Vienna Central Cemetery. Thus, on a symbolic level, there is a new interpretation of the tombstone itself, using classical sculptural practices. The main idea is to create a negative (imprint) of the place of Loos’ final resting place for the site where he was born and raised. Since the tombstone is in Vienna and its form is in Brno, there is an imaginary connection between the two places.
Venue: park at Janáček Square (Janáčkovo náměstí)
MMB (Brno City Municipality), Jaroslav Sedlák, Oldřich Morys
The Loos Path
A New Unique Path of the Brno Architecture Manual
In the Footsteps of Adolf Loos, online on the website of the Brno Architecture Manual www.bam.brno.cz (from July until December 2020)
A new route will be added to the already existing paths of interwar Brno architecture, which will take the visitor through the wider centre of Brno and draw his/her attention to places that are associated with Adolf Loos’ life. Although the marble hall of the so-called Bauer Chateau at the exhibition centre is the only extant and, at the same time, accessible Loos creation in Brno, the authors, Jana Kořínková and Pavla Cenková, managed to put together around twenty stops, including several tips for more distant trips (Hrušovany u Brna, Nedvědice).
The starting point is the new monument to Adolf Loos, which will be located at approximately the site where Loos’ birth house originally stood – the sculptural and stonemason’s workshop of his father, Adolf Loos senior. Several stops are also dedicated to the little-known sculptural commissions of this successful Brno company (either directly to the works of Adolf Loose senior or his collaborators), e.g. the façade decoration of the Constitutional Court and the Music Faculty of JAMU (Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno), selected examples of tombstones at the central and Jewish cemetery, and others.
Before the visitor reaches the chateau, which is the imaginary ‘highlight’ of the path, (s)he will find out where Adolf Loos studied (Second German State Gymnasium and Imperial-Royal Higher German State Industrial School in Brno; today, the buildings of the Brno City Municipality at the Dominican Square and on Husova street), where he lectured and met with friends, and the buildings which are inspired by Loos’ famous ‘Raumplan’ (the Kolbaba confectionery, Avion hotel, Café Savoy). Through texts supplemented by archival material, the path will also introduce the unrealised ‘House on the Roof’ on Sedlákova street, the reconstruction of the Karel Herold house on Jiráskova street that is inaccessible to the public, or the family houses on Alešova street, using Loos’ construction principles.
The individual texts are supplemented by quotes from the historical press and memories of wives, friends, and co-workers, with the aim of creating the most accurate and fair view of the traces left by Adolf Loos in Brno and through which Brno imprinted itself in his work.
Authors: BAM (Brno Architecture Manual) in cooperation with Jana Kořínková (FaVUT – Faculty of Architecture of Brno University of Technology), Pavla Cenková (NPÚ – National Heritage Institute), and Jindřich Chatrný and Dagmar Černoušková (Department of Architecture of MuMB – Brno City Museum)
During the holidays, there will be a guided tour every Thursday, more information at www.bam.brno.cz
Bauer Chateau: A Place in Space and Time
Exhibition of the so-called Bauer Chateau, BVV (Trade Fairs Brno) from 16 July 2020, open every Thursday from 16:00 to 19:00, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 19:00
Until recently, the Bauer Chateau was known solely to the professional public as the only partially preserved creation of Adolf Loos in Brno, standing on the edge of the exhibition site, somewhat in the shadow of admired functionalist exhibition pavilions. Thanks to the research activity of art historian Jana Kořínková, building on the systematic research of Adolf Loos’ activities in his hometown carried out by the curators of the Brno City Museum, Dagmar Černoušková and Jindřich Chatrný, the reconstruction of the troubled past of the chateau itself, the life destinies of the owner, as well as the extent of Loos’ adaptations, which were probably much larger than previously expected, are gradually becoming successful.
The current exhibition, already the second under the auspices of the Brno Architecture Manual (the first one was Neighbourhood. Adolf Loos and Viktor Bauer in the framework of the Re:publika 2018 event), will introduce the viewer to the history of the place since its inception in 1815, when the chateau was the only building in a vast agricultural area, to later become the seat of the Bauer family, around which a modern sugar factory was built and which was connected to Brno by a newly-built tram line. At the end of the 19th century, thanks to the financial contribution of Viktor Bauer, a velodrome also became part of the site, which has continued to serve its purpose since its inception.
Shortly after the Bauers moved into the chateau in 1919, a plan was drawn up to build today’s exhibition centre; in 1923, the land around the chateau was purchased from Viktor Bauer, but, of course, at a significantly lower market price, which Bauer naturally perceived as an injustice, and he watched the construction of the exhibition centre, which began in 1927, with displeasure. The family lived in Brno until the mid-1930s, when the chateau was confiscated along with other property as part of the post-war confiscations. A large part of the equipment was then moved to the castle in Lysice, but also to the nearby Stiassni Villa, where some objects are still located today.
In the texts, the author of the exhibition, architect Lenka Štěpánková, pays attention to both the history of the chateau and the fate of the Bauer family, as well as the personality of Adolf Loos himself. His most significant creations at home and abroad are briefly presented, including other buildings commissioned by Viktor Bauer (the villa in Hrušovany u Brna, the furnishing of an apartment in Dresden).
Guided Tours of Loos Hall at the Bauer Chateau in the BVV (Trade Fairs Brno) Complex
The dates will be specified according to the scheduling possibilities
Where: organised by the Brno House of Arts, BAM (Brno Architecture Manual), and FaVU VUT (Faculty of Fine Arts of Brno University of Technology) at BVV (Trade Fairs Brno)
When: June – December 2020
Exhibition: Yoshio Sakurai: Adolf Loos. Models
An exhibition of models of Adolf Loos’ buildings by professor Yoshio Sakurai, which he created together with his students from TOYO University in Tokyo. A total of 13 popularisation models of the most famous buildings in the scale of 1:50 are interactive – they can be disassembled, and visitors can directly familiarise themselves with the principles and specific applications of the Raumplan. The exhibition of the models will be accompanied by information on the individual buildings.
Where: organised by the NPÚ MCMA (National Heritage Institute – Methodical Centre of Modern Architecture in Brno) in the Stiassni Villa
When: 19 June – 28 September 2020
Architecture Day 2020
Guided Tours by BAM (Brno Architecture Manual)
When: first half of October
Exhibition: Adolf Loos’ Followers
The world-renowned Brno native Adolf Loos has influenced several generations of architects and his legacy is still alive today. When Otto Wagner announced his departure from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1911, his students turned to Adolf Loos to apply for the vacancy. Instead, Loos founded his own school, open to regular and gifted students alike. Some of the students gained experience directly in Loos’ studio – for example, Paul Engelmann and Heinrich Kulka. Others, such as Richard Neutra and Rudolph Michael Schindler, publicly associated themselves with this school. Among his followers, we also include architects with whom Loos worked directly on some projects and who later became famous for their independent works. These also include those in whose work Loos’ footprint is evident.
Perhaps most of the works of Loos’ followers can be found in Vienna, while many are scattered all over the world. In the territory of today’s Czech Republic, we can find several dozen such creations, which will be presented in the upcoming exhibition. In addition to the already mentioned architects, it will be possible to see the works of Friedrich Ehrmann, Jacques Groag, Karel Lhota, Kurt Unger, Rudolf Wels, and Ernst Wiesner.
Where: organised by the NPÚ MCMA (National Heritage Institute – Methodical Centre of Modern Architecture in Brno) in the Stiassni Villa
When: 2 October – 21 December 2020
International Two-Day Professional Symposium
The symposium will be designated for the professional public and will consist of a two-day programme. The symposium envisages the participation of domestic and foreign researchers and the presentation of examples of the restoration of Loos’ interiors in Prague and Pilsen.
- Theoretical Day: participation of leading domestic and foreign Loos researchers
- Practical Day: presentation of examples of the restoration of Loos’ interiors in Pilsen and Prague, participation of creators, participation of representatives of BVV (Trade Fairs Brno), MMB (Brno City Municipality), and more. Discussions on restoration options directly concerning Loos Hall and the Bauer Chateau at the BVV site.
Where: organised by the NPÚ MCMA (National Heritage Institute – Methodical Centre of Modern Architecture in Brno), FaVU VUT (Faculty of Fine Arts of Brno University of Technology), FA VUT (Faculty of Architecture of Brno University of Technology), DuMB (The Brno House of Arts), MuMB (Brno City Museum)
When: 21 – 23 October 2020
Exhibition: Adolf Loos and Viktor Bauer and BVV (Trade Fairs Brno)
Site-specific exhibition created on the basis of workshops of students from FA VUT (Faculty of Architecture of Brno University of Technology).
Where: at the Trade Fairs Brno in Loos Hall
When: October 2020
Hoffmann and Loos Cutting it Close
In addition to Loos, another Moravian native, Josef Hoffmann, had a major influence on the transformation of architecture in Europe and its relationship with users after 1900. The second and most likely last link between these two personalities is their identical year of birth. It would be very difficult to find other similar facts and related character traits. On the contrary, we could characterise each of them as almost perfect opposites. Josef Hoffmann was heavily oriented towards his own family, his sisters, he loved his native Brtnice and the Vysočina region, he underwent the prestigious architectural training completed at Otto Wagner’s studio at the Vienna Academy, and he was one of the leading figures in artistic reform, which associated itself with the circle around the Secession society and later Wiener Werkstätte. Adolf Loos grew up without a father, his mother had difficulties managing his upbringing, he did not study architecture, and he characterised himself as a globetrotter, who despised the Viennese cultural elite and did not miss a single opportunity to make a mocking remark about Hoffmann and his peers. Hoffmann was a closed man who was vigilant about his privacy, avoiding disputes or heated debates. Loos was an exemplary extrovert who would disgrace his ideological opponents with the bon mots that he so enjoyed. Hoffmann was an example of an intuitive creator who never tried to verbalise his relationship to architecture and seek some theoretical support for his work. Loos was a fruitful and relentless critic of architectural affairs who constantly sought to justify his approach to creation. It may even be said that Loos’ texts have influenced the architecture of the 20th century much more than his creations.
The dissimilarities and different bases of architectural design of these fundamental figures of European architecture are the subject of the staging process, which is being prepared in collaboration with the VUT Faculty of Architecture in Brno and the Terén performative platform, part of the Centre of Experimental Theatre in Brno.
Responsible Persons: Matyáš Dlab, Lucia Repašská, Rostislav Koryčánek / FA VUT (Faculty of Architecture of Brno University of Technology)
When: from 13 October until 5 November
Opening at the Faculty of Architecture in Brno
When: 13 October 2020, 17:00, FA VUT (Faculty of Architecture of the Brno University of Technology)
A performative intervention situated in the auditorium in the courtyard of the Faculty of Architecture in Brno on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Architecture of the Czech Brno University of Technology. The opening event of a month-long activity on the school’s premises thematically proceeds to the motif of the artistic dichotomy between the work of J. Hoffman and A. Loos.
The event is organised under the auspices of the Terén Field for Performative Arts and in cooperation with the D’epog independent staging platform.
Curated reality. The radicality of being. The colonisation of time. The occupation of space. Extreme. D’epog exists… is a cycle of one-off, feature-length performances, which the ensemble launched in January 2018. The format is based on the principles of chance, non-repeatability, and the actors’ freedom of expression. On the ground plan of very well-defined space-time conditions, completely autonomous performers conceptually create conditions of danger and, by acting within the limits of hyper-reality, they are confronted with uncertainty and risk as a challenge.
When they throw you into water, swim. When they throw you into the world, exist. Curated reality. The radicality of being. Where everyday life ends, the game begins. Where the game ends, hyperreality begins.
Existing: Radim Brychta, Zdeněk Polák, Janet Prokešová and Zuzana Smutková, Magdalena Straková
Two thematic publications will also be published in December, co-authored and edited by Jindřich Chatrný and Dagmar Černoušková from the Brno City Museum in collaboration with Jana Kořínková (FaVU – Faculty of Fine Arts):
A publication dedicated to the work of Adolf Loos in Brno and in Hrušovany u Brna as well as the work of his father, sculptor, and stonemason Adolf Loos senior, entitled Adolf Loos, The European. Not Only Brno Trails. Brno 2020 / MuMB (Brno City Museum)
A bibliophilia with a transcription of the diaries and notes of Loos’ colleague Bořivoj Kriegerbeck with the working title He, Adolf Loos / MuMB (Brno City Museum), AMB (Brno City Archive)