The Looshaus in Vienna (also known as the Goldman & Salatsch Building) is regarded as one of the most important structures built in the "Wiener Moderne". The building marks the rejection of historicism, as well as the ornaments used by the Wiener Secession. its appearance shocked Vienna's citizens, since their overall taste was still very much historically oriented. Because of the lack of ornaments on the facade, people called it the 'house without eyebrows'.
In 1909, the owners of Goldman & Salatsch, Leopold Goldman and Emanuel Aufricht, arranged an architecture competition, but broke it off to award the commission to Adolf Loos who refused to take part in it. A heated debate delayed the completion of the building. The simple facade led to attacks against Loos. He had to give in and promised to decorate several facade windows with flower pots. The building was completed in 2012.
Despite its aesthetic functionalism, the building is not a simple functional buildings - especially in the materials. There is a sharp contrast between the marble-lined facade used at the ground floor (Cipollino of Evia and Skyros marble) and the plain plaster facade of the residential floors above.
The Tuscan columns on the street level - intended as an allusion to the portico of St. Michael's Church. Instead of ornaments, there are flower boxes in front of the windows of the upper floors - according to a legend, the shape of these boxes are memories of the archduke's hat and allusion to the Imperial Palace.
After its completion, the house met with considerable controversy in the town still dominated by historicist flavor. It was called by the Viennese house without eyebrows, since the usual time window roofing were missing entirely. People said that Emperor Franz Joseph had not only avoided the house the rest of his life, he even did not use the exit to Michael's square, and also hided the windows of the Imperial Palace not to see the "ugly" house.
Design Zone Looshaus
Since 2002, a cultural organisation moved into the basement of the building, the "Design Zone Loos Haus" by Paolo Piva. Here international exhibitions and events are held to raise awareness of the importance of Austrian design as a stimulus for the economy.