Prague Modern Architecture and Design

Beginning and End of the 20th Century

Order Tour Code: P 28
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Prague has been called the book of architecture. Two regimes, WWII and communism interrupted its development, but the prolific time at the beginning of the 20th century and the recent past have seen an architectural renaissance in the city. Let us show you the works of such notables as Adolf Loos, Frank Ghery, Eva Jiricna, Borek Sipek, Ricardo Bofill, or Jean Nouveall.
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"Ornament is crime" , is the famous and shocking declaration for which Adolf Loos is best known. That was the title of his 1908 book, but his argument was more subtle. As ornament is no longer organically linked with our culture, it is also no longer an expression of our culture, he wrote. Ornament as created today has no connection with us, no human connections at all, no connection with the world as it is constituted.. What did have connection, for him, and what was left then, for the architect, was form and space and material - and color.

"The house should be like by all. Unlike a work of art, which does not require anyone to like it. The work of art is the private affair of the artist. The house is not. The work of art is sent out into the world, without anyone needing it. The house fulfils certain requirements. The work of art is not answerable to anyone, the house to everyone. A work of art seeks to draw people out of their comfort. The house should serve comfort. The work of art is revolutionary, the house conservative. The work of art shows humanity new paths and thinks of the future; the house thinks of the present. Man loves everything that serves his comfort. He hates all that seeks to draw him from his customary and secure state, and all that constricts him. And thus I love the house and hate art."
Adolf Loos, Architektura ('Architecture'), 1910.

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Last updated on Mar 22, 2014