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The City of Prague Museum

If These Walls Could Talk

If These Walls Could Talk

Study and Documentation Centre Norbertov

14. 12. 2020 – 1. 8. 2021

Architect Adolf Loos, in his 1924 articleRemoval of Furniture,posed the following rhetorical question for himself and other architects:What should a truly modern architect do? Loos, as we know well, never waited for an answer, since he always knew beforehand: “He should build houses in which all furniture that is not movable vanishes into the walls. The walls of the house belong to the architect.”

Loos’s unmistakable hand in designing interior walls forms one of the key components in the timelessness of his architecture. Loos filled his walls with couches and daybeds, buffets and fireplaces, closets and cabinets, significantly shaping architectural space in the process. From the perimeter of each room, his built-in arrangements defined spaces within spaces and relationships between contiguous rooms.

There is no better example to prove Loos’s prescient investment in walls than the Villa Müller, a residence plundered by no less than four government agencies. If These Walls Could Talk exposes the many secrets the eyes cannot see today in the magnificently restored villa-turned-museum.

The exhibition has been prepared by architectural theorist and curator Leslie van Duzer in cooperation with her students from the University of British Columbia.

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