Pilsen’s riches are not restricted to a large number of historic buildings and excellent beer. The city also has a lot to offer in terms of interior design, for example the interiors created by Adolf Loos for Jewish businesspeople at the start of the 20th century. Working in cooperation with the city of Pilsen in its capacity as the 2015 European City of Culture, students on the IMIAD programme designed and realized two installations in central Pilsen under the title “Loos of today?”
One of Loos’s interior was created for a bachelor named Richard Hirsch. Although the apartment has survived to this day, its Loos-designed interior is now in Prague. Taking “Wish you were here” as their title, 15 students in the third semester of their IMIAD programme examined not only Adolf Loos and the history of his interiors in Pilsen, but also the following question: Given the large proportion of women working in the field of interior design, how would the female interior designer of today go about designing an apartment such as the Hirsch apartment for an unmarried women? This also required the students to ask themselves the following gender-related question: How male is female? The resultant cardboard installation in the Hirsch apartment made the students themselves part of the exhibit, and was on display in Pilsen in the spring and summer of 2015.
How do we live today?
Missing interior reproduced in cardboard
Long forgotten but now rediscovered, the interiors designed by the architect Adolf Loos were the starting point from which first semester students on the IMIAD programme were to think a step further. Working under the title “On top of Loos”, they drew up concepts for a student “workshop” – a space where Loos, architecture and design can be investigated, learned about and discussed. Previously unused, the attic above the Loos interior at Brummel House (Husova 58 in Pilsen) was selected as an ideal – and above all inspiring – location for a fictitious Loos centre.
One of the core questions associated with the design brief was how to handle the existing saddleback roof, which is not visible from the street due to Loos’ use of a raised parapet wall. The three potential approaches were to retain the existing saddleback roof in its entirety, make modifications to the existing roof structure or completely redesign the roof. In the latter case this would also involve removing the existing roof.
Exhibition of the models