Richard Hirsch's apartment designed by Adolf Loos (1927)

Adolf Loos was one of the greatest pioneers of his time. Unimpressed by the concepts and ideas of architecture and design that were predominant in the early twentieth century, he decided to tread an uncompromising path to arrive at a functional form of architecture and design.

He did not believe in ornamentation or design and architecture governed by artistic parameters, which was also very evident in his work – not only as an architect and a designer but also as an author. After returning to Vienna, following a three-year stay in America, he went on to become one of the most radical supporters of a new school of thought that completely rejected all ornamental and non-functional elements. He was extremely meticulous in his selection of materials and designs for the interior as well as the exterior. However, clarity in architecture and design by no means implied that he gave short shrift to the creation of a pleasant atmosphere in the rooms he designed. In fact, he gave equal importance to modernity and comfort.

Later, Loos went on to create several masterpieces in Bohemia which fully displayed his reduction and abstraction of the exterior and the interior. In 1907, he designed the home of the entrepreneurial couple Martha and Wilhelm Hirsch. It was only in the 1980s that it was discovered this wasn’t the only design Loos realised for the Hirsch family. During the 1920s, almost at the same time as he was working on the Villa Müller in Prague, Loos also designed a bachelor’s apartment for Martha and Willy’s son Richard. This apartment was located in the same building as the better known Hirsch apartment, only on a different floor.

Recently, the surviving interior of Richard Hirsch’s apartment has been moved to another apartment of approximately the same size in Prague, close to and overlooking the Jewish cemetery. All parts of the interior were carefully examined and restored before they were put in place. Authentic techniques and the use of original materials were respected whenever replacements proved to be indispensable. Today, the Pilsner interior created for Richard Hirsch serves as an art gallery and an auction house, Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery, in Prague. In 2014 the apartment joined the prestigeous international network of architectural designs Iconic Houses.

Before restoration

Professor Burkhardt Rukschcio, the most important expert on Adolf Loos and the author of the list of his works, provided an expert supervision over the restoration and the installation of the apartment.

Condition of Loos' original apartment before restoration.
Apartment today
Orderers of the apartment
Portrait of Martha Hirsch (mother of Richard Hirsch) by Kalman Kemeny, private collection
Portrait of Martha Hirsch by Oskar Kokoschka from 1909, Neue Galerie New York
Portrait of Adolf Loos by Oskar Kokoschka from 1909, The National Gallery Berlin
Portrait of Wilhelm Hirsch (father of Richard Hirsch) by Oskar Kokoschka from 1909, National Gallery Berlin
Portrait, probably of Martha Hirsch, by Oskar Kokoschka from 1916, The National Gallery Berlin
The original owners of the apartment, Richard Hirsch with his wife Marieluis.
Apartment opening (2009)
President of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus
General director of Austrian national gallery Belvedere, Agnes Husslein-Arco
Visits
John Mucha, the grandson of the painter Alfons Mucha
Czech visual artist Krištof Kintera
The representative of Czech informel, Antonín Málek
Iconic Houses
V roce 2014 byl apartmán zařazen do prestižní světové sítě architektonických návrhů Iconic Houses.
RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architecture)

Introduction of Richard Hirsch’s Apartment by Adolf Loos at the Royal Institute of British Architects during the Adolf Loos Season in London, 2011. The apartment was exhibited in cooperation with The City of Prague Museum. 

Adolf Loos Season in RIBA.

Invitation to exhibition of Adolf Loos' architecture in RIBA
Reconstruction in Pilsen

The city of Pilsen reconstructed the bedroom in the Richard Hirsch's apartment designed by Adolf Loos, located in the Plachého street in Pilsen. Another part of this original apartment has been reconstructed by Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery and is now located in Prague. More information about the pilsner reconstruction here.

Certifications

Apartment for Richard Hirsch was exhibited in Royal Institute of British Architects in London within Adolf Loos Season.
Cooperation with Czech Center London within Adolf Loos’ exhibition in Royal Institute of British Architects.
Authentication of Adolf Loos’ apartment for Richatd Hirsch by Burckhardt Rukaschcio, the internationally most renowned expert on Adolf Loos’ work.

The director of Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery, Mr Vladimir Lekes, is the only Czech art expert listed in the prestigious Guide international des experts et spécialistes published in France.

In 2014 the apartment joined the prestigeous international network of architectural designs Iconic Houses.

Richard Hirsch’s Apartment is available for private viewings. For further information and bookings please contact loos@aloos.cz .

Installation of a model of the original furnishing of the apartment in Pilsen

In 2015 there was a short-term installation of a cardboard model of the original furnishings in Richard Hirsch’s apartment in Plachého street in Pilsen, created by professor Wolfgang Grillitsch's students of Internationalen Masters für Interieur Architecture Design (IMIAD) at Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart. Part of the original furnishings has been renovated and installed in Prague, in Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery’s spaces. Learn more about the model in Pilsen HERE.

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