In 1984 the architect Hans Puchhammer, one of the curators of Austria’s largest Adolf Loos exhibition to date (1989), discovered an original Loos fire screen in Vienna in his archeologist friend’s apartment on Dapontegasse. Originally, the apartment belonged to the Neumann family, whose later Aryanized department store located on Kärntner Strasse is now known as Steffl. Adolf Loos was responsible for the interior design of the apartment completed in 1909. This fire screen is the point of departure for the Az W “Schaufenster”, which now showcases a collection of emblematic objects put together by Martin Feiersinger.
On display are typical items from Loos’s housing repertoire, which have been reinterpreted by the designer: the dodecahedron-shaped lamp, for example, here a larger model of the one Loos often used in such places as the men’s fashion store Kniže on Graben 13 in Vienna’s 1st district (1910–1913). Or the “Veillich stool”, which was named after Loos’s cabinetmaker. Martin Feiersinger’s version of the three-legged stool is also modelled on the “Egyptian” precedent.
Loos’s intense preoccupation with Platonic solids can be seen not only in the dodecahedron but also in the tetrahedron of the pyramid, which serves here as a display stand for important publications. It is not unlikely that Loos was drawn to these mathematical shapes by Leonardo da Vinci’s 59 drawings. Originally published in 1509, a new edition in German was printed by Verlag Carl Graeser in 1889, and it would have been in circulation in Vienna at the time. The drawings inspired Martin Feiersinger to create this small twenty-page homage. (Sonja Pisarik)
Exhibition title: Adolf Loos (1870–1933) and the Fire Screen
Opening dates: September 3, 2020 through September 30, 2021
Curated by: Monika Platzer, Sonja Pisarik
Concept and design: Martin Feiersinger
Venue: Az W, Architekturzentrum Vienna