This dwelling was built for
Joseph and Marie Rufer. It is considered by critics as the first built
house that portrays in its totality Loos' concept of Raumplan regarding
the interior spatial organization of the building.
The house has the shape of a
cube with the external walls serving as a structural shell. These four
bearing walls contain the house within a small area (just 10x10 meters).
At the center of the volume, a column articulates the spaces under the
Raumplan logic and also conceals the plumbing for the water and heating.
The Raumplan also affects the exterior since the elevations are in part a
reflection of the interior organization; however, in order to achieve a
balanced composition Loos also gave attention to the resulting contrast
between the naked white walls and the dark patches of the windows.
Although it can be said that the
surfaces of the house are completely bare, with even the window frames
stripped of any superfluous parts, there are three other elements of the
façade that remain intriguing. Loos included in the elevations a squashed
frieze and a cornice to top the cubic volume. The cornice projects out
from the façade and slightly covers the view of the frieze, which apart
from having an extremely elongated proportion and being almost
imperceptible as an element in the façade remains completely blank. The
third element is a complement to the previous two, a rectangular molding
depicting a Parthenon frieze and positioned low on the street front. It is
a piece that completes the balance of the elevations but it is also an
ornament, a fragment of classical work. Some critics have stated that this
frieze not only balances the formal composition between voids and surface
but also balances the purist abstraction of the cube with the figurative.
In a way it also places the house and its ideals into the wider picture of
the history of western architecture and argues in favor of a classical
image of Loos instead of the architect as a radical functionalist. This
seemingly straightforward house remains rich in subtle complexities that
still challenge our understanding of space.
How to visit By public
transport: . When you get there using a map of the city should be enough
to get to the building. Access: This is a private house and is not open to
transport: Use the
underground - the house is in walking distance from two stations of the
U4 line (green). Use the Braunschweigasse station if you are coming from
the center of town or Unter Sankt Veit if arriving from the western
note that this is a private house and is not open to the public.
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