Organizing Space Adolf Loos' Raumplan

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Organizing Space – Adolf Loos' Raumplan


Architecture encloses spaces within a volume of mass. These spaces creates various experiences as people stay in them or move between different spaces. Spaces are created with various methodologies. Spaces are also articulated and defined in various ways. In this essay,  methods of creating and articulating spaces used by Adolf Loos will be analysed and how they demarcate spaces will be discussed. Loos’ Villa Muller will be used as an example to show how spaces are articulated with different methodologies and their corresponding effects. A conclusion on these questions how spaces should be created and articulated shall be done.

The Context of the Project

Spaces  in  houses  of  modern  architecture  were  not  merely  created  without  reasoning.  The composition of spaces within a house is created with different methodologies according to various reasons. For example, the relation to the site, ease of

access etc. The features of the composed spaces are further enhanced by articulations created by methods such as varying datum levels, positioning of openings etc. Transitions  in  between  spaces  are  also  dealt  with methods such as interlocking two different materials used by two different spaces next to each other. There are also approaches in which boundaries in between space are not well defined. There are also methods in which spaces are   related   to   movements   and   circulations.   Such

approach  in  designing  spaces  are  common  among

architects of modern architecture and there is no definite correct answer in designing spaces.

There are theories proposed by various architects in generating spaces. Adolf Loos uses the “Raumplan”, which space is regulated freely and planned on different levels not confined to a single storey.  Rooms   have   also   different   sizes   and different heights according to their purpose and significance. Adolf Loos once said, “I do not design plans, facades, sections, I design space. Actually there is neither a ground floor, an upper floor or a basement, there are merely interconnected spaces, vestibules, terraces. After this one must connect the spaces with one another so that the transition is unnoticeable and natural, but also the most practical.”

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Fig. 1: Exterior

Composition of Space

Villa Muller is a house designed by Adolf Loos in

1930. Its interior is extremely complex, composed of discrete spatial episodes. Villa Muller cannot be explained  merely  with  plans  alone  or  sections alone. There is a complete overlap of plans and

Fig. 2: Section

sections in Villa Muller, as spaces are boxes which are displaced asymmetrically in the villa. Adolf Loos said, “Every room needs a specific height -- the dining room a different one from the pantry, therefore the floors are on ...

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