Case Study: Villa Müller

with Paulette Cameron, Owen de Lancie, and Emily Warkentin.

This case study displays a series of investigations of a seminal modern building: Adolf Loos’ design for the Villa Muller in Prague, Czech Republic, to explore the building themes of Materials, Elements, and Structure through conceptual model and drawings.

ELEMENTS

The Villa Muller is famous for it’s demonstration of Adolf Loos’ Raumplan, or three dimensional plan approach to designing and conceiving of a building. The elements studied therefore centered around the expression of the Raumplan through the creation of uniquely readable facade through fenestration placement, as well as investigating the circulation through the building with it’s multiple split levels. A service stair and front stair serve different functions, while windows provide views and light into the space only where necessary.

01_Villa Muller

03_Villa Muller

STRUCTURES

With the late discovery of old black and white photographs depicting the Villa’s construction, we learned that the Villa is in fact completely made of brick masonry with other parts of the building made out of reinforced concrete. The discovery was game changing. By then, we had already approached the project with a thesis of depicting the Villa’s structure as a series of downward load-bearing floating wall planes, which turned out to be pretty accurate. The structure is spatially divisive  and structurally stereotomic.

02_Villa Muller
Sources

Van Duzer, Leslie, Adolf Loos, Kent Kleinman. Villa Muller: a work of Adolf Loos. New York: Princeton University Press. 1994.

Frampton, Kenneth. The Architecture of Adolf Loos. London: Arts Council. 1985.

Further Projects