Adolf Loos, a Brno native, did not consider himself an architect, yet his conception of architecture and his buildings have affected generations. Loos was one of the most important figures in the field and one of the co-founders of modern architecture. He outlined the principles of purist-functionalist architecture and he was the creator of Raumplan, a spatial concept based on different levels connected by short staircases.
Loos’s last building
Villa Winternitz is a perfect venue for the exhibition of models of Adolf Loos’ buildings. In 1932, the Prague-based lawyer Josef Winternitz, JUDr., commissioned Adolf Loos and Karel Lhota to build the family villa for his wife Jenny, daughter Suzana, and son Petr.
The villa is Loos' last constructed building. The family lived there until 1941, when, due to racial persecution, they were forced to transfer the villa to Auswanderungsfond für Böhmen und Mähren (Emigration Fund for Bohemia and Moravia). The building was bought by the Municipality of Prague with this fund, and a kindergarten was established there. It operated continuously until 1997.
Villa as a 20th century memorial
The whole family was transported to Terezín in 1943 and later to Auschwitz concentration camp. Jenny Winternitz and her daughter Suzana survived. They returned to Prague, but never to their family villa, as the state imposed inheritance tax and millionaire tax on the heirs. As the two women were not able to pay, they ‘donated’ the villa to the state. In the nineties, the villa was returned to the descendants of the original owners and the family had it reconstructed to its original form from the 1930s. Since 2017, the villa has been open to the public and it is possible to visit it with a guided tour or by attending one of the cultural programmes that are held in the villa.
The second floor of the villa, where a permanent exhibition is installed, is well worth a visit. The current owners are making an effort to remind visitors of the troubled history of the 20th century that their family experienced first-hand.
Models from Japan
Until the 16th of June, Villa Winternitz is also home to an exhibition of models of Adolf Loos’ buildings by Professor Yoshio Sakurai, co-created with his students from Tokyo University. It is the European premiere of this unique project, which presents perfectly created models to the scale of 1:50 and relevant documentation.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Open until 16/06/2019
Venue: Villa Winternitz
Na Cihlářce 10, Prague 5
Sunday – Wednesday 12 noon – 6 pm
Guided tours available on weekends
Admission: CZK 260