Adolf Loos and Ornament

Selenay Büyükkök


In this study, architectural style and “Ornament is Crime” motto of Adolf Loos, being against of the nineteenth century Vienna’s architectural style, especially after the Industrial Revolution, will be examined. It is revealed that Adolf Loos’s most known motto “Ornament is Crime” has deeper meanings and Loos designed various buildings throughout his career according to his evolution. When his designs analyzed chronologically it is understood that Loos had a great change that is Loos reflects his true thoughts more and more in his designs as time goes on.
When Adolf Loos said his famous motto, “Ornament is Crime” in Vienna’s nineteenth century, Vienna was changing, urbanizing and developing very intensely with the effect of the industrial revolution. Loos and many architects, painters, artists opposed the mass production and devaluation of handmade materials brought by the industrial revolution, but Loos has always been in a different position than others.
Although Adolf Loos seems to advocate simplicity, he did not avoid the use of expensive materials in the interiors of the spaces he designed. In other words, Loos has supported the mask metaphor by simplifying its design that is visible to the outside world.


Adolf Loos, Ornament, Otto Wagner, Raumplan, Vienna.

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