Khuner Country House
Alpenhof Kreuzberg, Fam. Steiner
A-2650 Payerbach
Kreuzberg 60
Austria

Adolf Loos and Heinrich Kulka 1930

The Khuner Country House is a late work of Loos, completed when he was sixty, in the same year as the Villa Müller in Prague. Like the Villa Müller, a restrained (in this case somewhat traditional) facade hides a subtle interior design of different room heights – Loos' Raumplan.

The house is organized around a central, double-height living and dining space, with the upstairs landing forming a gallery around three sides. On the fourth side, a full-height picture window provides dramatic views of the Alpine meadows.

The house was built as a country home for a Viennese food manufacturer, Paul Khuner. The rooms are tailored to each of his family members, with an impressive number additionally for guests. Khuner himself died only two years after the house was completed, and his widow left for America in 1938. The house has spent most of its life in its present role as a restaurant and hotel, still run by the family that bought it in 1959.

The Raumplan design gives different heights, and very different characters, to the different spaces within the house. Mr Khuner's study combines a small, cosy feel emphasised by the low ceiling and the steps down into the room from the main hall, combined with generous, bright views of the scenery from the outsize landscape window. .

Conversion of the country house into a hotel has necessitated some changes, such as extra bathrooms, but the details of the house, and indeed of the individual family members' rooms, have been carefully preserved.

Simon Glynn 2006 (updated 2010)

 


How to visit

The Khuner House, now known as the Alpenhof-Looshaus, is run as a restaurant and hotel, and therefore particularly easy and pleasurable to visit. It provides one of the best opportunities to stay in the progressive architecture of early twentieth century Europe.

If you are staying, try to make sure you stay in one of the orginal family bedrooms around the gallery, rather than the guest bedrooms on the higher floor. Mr Khuner's bedroom includes the orginal family bathroom; other rooms have showers added.

The house is about one and a half hours' drive southwest of Vienna, near Payerbach in the Semmering area of the Lower Alps. Further information, including maps and driving directions, is available at the hote''s web site, www.looshaus.at. Alternatively call +43 2666 52911 or email steiner@looshaus.at.

 


Books and other web sites

Click the book title to view and to order direct from

Adolf Loos (Taschen Basic Architecture)
August Sarnitz

A practical, readable, affordable guide to Loos houses (including this one) in Vienna and elsewhere, with addresses for visiting. If you like galinsky you should like this guide. Includes an introduction to Loos, and a full reprint of his article Ornament and Crime.

 

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