Loos House (St. Michael’s Square)
The Loos House on Michalerplatz, June 2012
Adolf Loos, commercial building Salatsch & Goldman
View Michael’s Place, August 1910
(further pictures you can see by clicking on the link at the end of page!)
Adolf Loos, commercial building & Goldman Salatsch, carcass
Adolf Loos, commercial building & Goldman Salatsch, portal zone
Carl Wilhelm Schmidt, transformation of the business house Goldman & Salatsch for Opel, portal zone, 1938
The 1909-1912 on Michael’s place built Looshaus in the first District of Vienna represents the main work of Adolf Loos. It is his first, most important and largest executed urban construction. The building characterizing both the rejection of historicism as well as of Secession decor, is a central main opus of Viennese modernism, the building site opposite the Hofburg securing the construction from begin on a special attention.
In April 1909 acquired the owner of the men’s tailor saloon Goldman & Salatsch, Leopold Goldman and Emanuel Aufricht the "Three Laufer house (Dreilauferhaus)" (built in 1797) at St. Michael’s Square. The competition for a new building in May 1909 brought no satisfactory result, Loos did not attend – he probably acted as a juror. Shortly after Loos was charged with the manufacture of appropriate construction plans. The Einreichplan (construction permit plan) of Loos shows the probably never for realization thought stucco facade. Loos and the builders had the building in the then modern reinforced concrete technology carried out.
After its completion, provoked the "nakedness" of the facades in the by historicist taste marked Viennese a shock, which led to an official building freeze. Because of the lack of the then usual window roofings the Viennese called the construction "house without eyebrows". After a one-year argument with the authorities and large sections of the public, Loos as a compromise had attached to the facades flower boxes, wherefore finally in May 1912 was issued the offical authorisation of the magistrate.
In Business Office Loos differentiated severly between official sales areas and only for staff accessible work areas. In the sales area exclusively valuable materials such as root mahogany, oak floors, brass and mirrors were used. This created a comforting, homely club atmosphere. More sober retained was only the winter sports department in the basement. Cool, sober mood dominated the work areas with its almost Spartan material choice. White lacquered iron rods, wood stone floors, green enameled lamps and white plastered wall surfaces characterized here the character of functionally according to workflows arranged rooms.
Loos had already designed several restaurants. The here gained experiences have been taken into account in the design of the house on St. Michael’s Place (jewelry store Hugo and Alfred Spitz, men’s fashion salon Goldman & Salatsch Am Graben/Naglergasse, decorative plumes business Sigmund Steiner). But there were also older Viennese department stores (department store Neumann by Otto Wagner, department store of the carpet company Philipp Haas and sons of Eduard van der Nüll and August Siccard of Siccardsburg ), classical Viennese buildings (porch of St. Michael’s Church by Antonio Beduzzi, Palais Fries-Pallavicini by Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg) and early Chicago skyscrapers (Rookery Building by Daniel Hudson Burnham and Wellborn Root) that inspired Loos.
After the company Goldman & Salatsch in 1925/26 came into a compromise, the house in the following decades changed repeatedly the owner (from 1928. Dutch owners; 1934: Building Construction and Civil Engineering AG, from 1968: Cooperative Central Bank, from 1987: Raiffeisenbank Wien). In the former premises of the men’s fashion salons also, whose ground floor and mezzanine areas were temporarily separated by conversions, there were many different uses (Autohaus Opel & Beyschlag, fashion house Prodinger, Reithoffer rubber products, furniture store "The new space", Cooperative Central Bank, Dusika Sports).
After the purchase by Raiffeisen the structural jewel until 1989 was subjected to a comprehensive, widely appreciated and internationally acclaimed renovation. The with the restoration commissioned architect Burkhardt Rukschcio also meticulously set back the heart of the home, the sales area, in its original state. Since then, the premises are used of the Raiffeisen bank in Vienna as a branch.