Raumplan: Critique of Inherent Paradoxical Ontologies


Adolf Loos' raumplan was a conceptual driver in architecture that raised and shifted distinct programmatic spaces, like in a house, to different levels and elevations depending on its economics. It has been institutionalized in multiple examples of his designed houses, and philosophically has consequences beyond spatial that lie in the realms of metaphysics and phenomenology. Through my essay, I attempt to frame raumplan as a ontologically paradoxical entity: the concept of its spatial moves can only be understood experientially, by being in the houses and moving throughout the spaces. By referencing Immanuel Kant's definition of space in Critique of Pure Reason, who argues space as an a priori intuition outside of human experience, I attempt to arise new questions about the essence of raumplan by comparing its anatomy and economic circumstances to this philosophical lens of space and abstracted paradoxical existence.