Mass and the Envelope

Mass and the Envelope

The basic form of the villa is a block. Two facades — that of the entrance and that adjacent to the staircase — surprise in the abruptness of their large areas of plain wall with relatively small windows. Both facades have at their feet shallow recesses with accesses — on one side the entrance to the villa proper, on the other to the garage. These recesses are situated below the line of communication, and thus have very little impact on appearance. The other two facades have the plain walls of a magnificently articulated cube. On the side close to Střešovicka ul. full parapets hide the terrace by the living room and the first floor balcony. The other facade is articulated by an oriel and the interesting element of an unpaired window, which crowns the building at the level of the roof terrace.

The blunt character of the facade is typical of Adolf Loos' buildings, The builder Kriegerbeck has preserved for us Loos' explanation of his conception of facades: "I do not play with the facade, I do not live there. Take a chair, sit in the rain in the middle of the street and look at the facade. If I do a facade in the street, I do a nice ground floor, sometimes cladding the first floor in marble. Above the first floor I leave it uncovered, I can't see that far...".

Loos made this credo solid for the first time in 1911 with the building of the Viennese Goldman & Salatsch department store, the facade of which is indeed clad with marble on the first floor and bare above. With Dr. Müller's villa too Loos shows his conviction that the house should not be established for passers by, but for its inhabitants.

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