The Irritation of Architecture



A century ago, Adolf Loos articulated a unique sensibility regarding function and posed the controversial idea that architecture is not an art. Fifty years later, Theodor Adorno, who supported many of Loos’ opinions, contended that Loos’ argument in this respect was critically insufficient because it lacked dialectical depth. The following discussion intends to demonstrate that Loos’ thought was dialectical in the fashion Adorno believed legitimate. To do so, it is necessary to consider Loos’ built works as a way of thinking complementary to his written ideas.