Modernities: Architecture, Design, Theory

The New Space: Movement and Experience in Viennese Modern Architecture

white interior with balconies

Christopher Long will speak about his new book, The New Space, which explores how three of the leading Viennese modernist architects of the early decades of the last century – Adolf Loos, Oskar Strnad, and Josef Frank – sought in their buildings to weave together complex experiences of space and movement. All three architects drew decisively on the ideas of the German art historian and theorist August Schmarsow, who claimed that good architecture was spatially affective and that the role of the architect was to forge profound spatial experiences. Starting with Schmarsow’s suggestion that buildings could be thought of as journeys through space, this lecture will examine some of the key building of the Viennese and how each sought to generate little epiphanies of place and sensation.

Christopher Long is University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Long’s research focuses on the history of modern architecture and design in Central Europe and the United States. Trained as a cultural historian, his approach borrows from cultural and intellectual sources, as well as political and economic history. He studied at the universities of Graz, Munich, and Vienna, and he received his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. From 1993 to 1994, he taught at the Central European University in Prague. His publications include Josef Frank: Life and Work (University of Chicago Press, 2002), Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design (Yale University Press, 2007), The Looshaus (Yale University Press, 2011), Kem Weber: Designer and Architect (Yale University Press, 2014), and The New Space: Movement and Experience in Viennese Modern Architecture (Yale University Press, 2016). He is also co-editor, with Tano Bojankin and Iris Meder, of Josef Frank: Schriften / Writings, 2 vols. (Metro Verlag, 2012).

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9 May 2016

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London