HFT Stuttgart and its partner, Western Bohemian University Pilsen, were the hosts of the IMIAD International Summer Workshop in September 2014. The workshop was held in Pilsen (Czech Republic) and focused on interiors designed by Adolf Loos.
Adolf Loos designed a total of thirteen interiors for buildings and apartments in Pilsen during two periods (1907-1910 and 1927-1932). Eight of those interiors have survived to this day. Although a number have been partially or fully reconstructed/renovated over the years, some interiors are still awaiting repair and find themselves in anywhere between good and appalling condition. Students on the IMIAD programme were given the unique opportunity to use one of these unrenovated interiors, the Semmler apartment, as the topic and 1:1 model for this workshop. The three connected rooms which house the interior still feature the original claddings and fireplace, and were made available to the students for the installation of temporary features.
The first workshop task was to research Adolf Loos and Pilsen, with particular emphasis placed on the following topics:
The students were then to use their research as a basis for the development of a blueprint for the renovation of the apartment and an accompanying usage concept. Rather than being restricted to a historical reconstruction of the original interior, the renovation of the apartment was instead to represent a redesign inspired by the style of Adolf Loos and also include a modern interpretation of the missing furniture.
The new usage concept was to transform what were once private living quarters into a semi-public space. A place somewhere between a salon and a club for intellectual exchange, somewhere readings, talks and small exhibitions can be held. The newly rooms were also to be suitable for experiments with the classic “salon” format.
Even though the two-week workshop was not long enough for the design and implementation of a fully-fledged concept, it was possible for a cardboard mock-up to be presented to the public in the Semmler apartment at the end of the project. Work involving Loos’s interiors continued with a stand-alone exhibition held in 2015 as part of Pilsen’s year as European City of Culture.