Ornament And Crime

In this feature we delve into the work of one of our favorite architects: Adolf Loos. He speaks to the thinking we try to incorporate into every project we embark on. We borrow the name of this post from the lecture given by the man himself in 1910. Loos regarded ornament as something for “degenerates”. Yes, he used the word degenerates. He believed designs should be stripped back to strong, solid forms. He designed in a way that was economical, utilitarian and pure of form. We consider Loos to be the founder of Modernism, although there were many people that played a fundamental role in this movement. 

metalocus-klatovske-44-1280_0.png
Adolf Loos, 1932 - 1932, Semler House, Czech Republic, accessed August 2012,

Adolf Loos, 1932 - 1932, Semler House, Czech Republic, accessed August 2012,

You will notice that Loos used natural materials to create “ornamentation”. The continuous texture and the sharp juxtaposition of colour create a remarkable impact. Nature provides its own ornamentation.

Adolf Loos, 1922, Rufer House, Austria, accessed February 2017

Adolf Loos, 1922, Rufer House, Austria, accessed February 2017

A great note we took out of Loos’s book, Creating Your Home With Style was his ability to keep historical elements of interiors intact, and restore them to their former glory. He worked around them, ensuring the preservation of the historical elements. He created an abstracted link between past and present, creating both nostalgia and modernity.

Adolf Loos, 1930, Villa Muller, Czech Republic, accessed October 2016,

Adolf Loos, 1930, Villa Muller, Czech Republic, accessed October 2016,

01590231611ea6857823b562bb56189f--adolf-loos-prague.jpg

The impact created by Loos's designs can largely be attributed to his use of repetition. His pared-back use of materials allows him to create varying forms in the same material throughout a space. The use of the respective material en-masse resulting in an awe-inspiring interior, playing host to the people that inhabit it.