Steiner House
St. Veit-Gasse 10 

Adolf Loos 1910

The Steiner house was designed for the painter Lilly Steiner and her husband Hugo. It is located in a Vienna suburb where the planning regulations were strong enough to have a direct impact on the final design.

Loos was a remarkable architect when working within the limits imposed by the shape of the site or external forces like the planning codes. The regulations only permitted a street front with one story and a dormer window (a window built in a sloping roof). The large window at the front brings light into the atelier of the painter, which was situated on the first level. The garden facade is three storied and with the use of the semi-circular metal-sheathed roof Loos manages to articulate the transition between the front and garden elevations.

The Steiner house became a highly influential example of modern architecture; it played a significant role in establishing Loos' reputation as a modern architect to the audience outside of the Viennese community, and became an obligatory reference for architects during the 1920s and 30s. Almost all of the literature of the Modern Movement has reproduced the garden façade as an indisputable example of radical rationalist modern architecture.

The stripped façade was rapidly assimilated into the formal purism of the 1920s and was the major reason for the success of the building. In this respect it is interesting to note the comments of the writer Panayotis Tournikiotis* who states that 

'This house renews classical tradition, is not a desire to negate history.'

Panayotis Tournikiotis, Adolf Loos, Princeton Architectural Press, New York 1994

He argues that to put all of the attention in the austere exterior and not consider what was going on in the stylized interior negates the classical values that are manifest through the building.

For Loos the exterior was the public side of the house; that is the reason for the bare wall surfaces. The interior was the private side and reflected the owner's personal taste. As some critics have stated, the house reflects a 'classicism married to Anglo-Saxon domesticity in a search for spatial continuity'.

Ludwig Abache 2002


How to visit

By public transport: Use the underground line U4 (green) and change at Hietzing to the tram #58. Get off at Hummelgasse. The house is about two blocks away to the south. The Strasser house is within walking distance of this building and the Scheu house a bit further to the east. 

Use Vienna's interactive map to locate the house; zoom out from the first map screen to show transportation routes etc.

Please note that this is a private house and is not open to the public.

Books and other web sites

The city of Vienna's website is a useful resource to find your way around. Also use the Vienna address finder at 

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