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Loos Soup 2.0

Loos Soup 2.0

Authors: Mihail Pandrea

Tutor: Dr. Adrian Hawker
University of Edinburgh

Authors’ Comment


“Architecture has always represented the prototype of a work of art the reception of which is consummated by a collectivity in a state of distraction.” (Benjamin, 1936)

Ask three ballroom dancing couples to reproduce the same choreography on a stage, together and you are likely to see the same moves, respecting the same rhythm, style and synchronised with the music, yet, technically, they all execute each step slightly different. One’s hand is up at 82.3 degrees, while other’s is visibly lower.

What if one could break down an act, object or process to its origins, capture its fragments in a matrix and then re-use the resulted assets, applying a personal knowledge matrix as a key towards delivering a recipe that can be recognisable by the public, simultaneously as both, the “familiar” and the “something new”?

In 2015, a team of Australian bio-chemical researchers proved that you can bring a boiled egg to its original composition, reversing the process of cooking.

On the basis of this theory, observing the architecture of Loos in Pilsen, as well as at the heritage of its industrial past, I tried to dissect both, the urban layers of the former industrial site of Skoda Works and Husova, as well as the specifics of his work on the apartment at 12 Klatovska Street into fragments and create a matrix of micro and macro fragments that will later be used in an attempt to create a recipe of what shall represent a “Loos Soup”.


Pilsen is a particularly interesting milestone in Adolf Loos’s career. Starting from 1907, a year prior to the publishing of his essay “Ornament and Crime”, he became acquainted to the city of Pilsen, as he came to visit Vilem and Marta Hirsch, for whom, he has completed his first commission in this region of the former Austro-Hungarian empire.
Unfortunately, in the moment of writing this paragraph, there are only eight apartments that have survived from Loos’s legacy in Pilsen, out of which, four can be visited with an appointment. In the late 1960s, Vera Bahalová, a Czech historian, documented and archived most of Loos’s heritage in Pilsen, making a first step towards preserving these from disappearing, just as the other five that were either demolished or in and irreversible state of disrepair.


Garnacho Marx defined the expression “duck soup”, when explaining Marx’s Brothers 1923 movie with this slang phrase as a title: "Take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, and mix them together. After one taste, you'll duck soup for the rest of your life!” On the basis of this judgement, one could design a modern building using merely any modern fragments, in the same manner in which a dancer could dance on a waltz by Bedrych Smetana using merely any waltz steps or no waltz steps at all. Extrapolating to Loos, Pilsen and the existing project, one could design a “Loos Soup” using merely and Loos fragments.

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