chapter  3
25 Pages

Tower and Palace: two faces of the gigantic monument

In 1908, Adolf Loos wrote: ‘Only a very small part of architecture belongs to art: the tomb and the monument. Everything else that fulfils a function is to be excluded from the domain of art’.1 Loos positioned functional and therefore non-monumental architecture outside the domain of art, elevating only the monument and tomb to this position.2 Although one can accept that its purpose may be different from that of a non-monument, Loos’s statement that a monument is without a function is easily disputed. A monument demands an audience outside of its present. Depending not on an individual but a collective reception, the role it fulfils is social. Loos operates within the logic of negation and binary opposites, contrasting architecture and art, function and monument. The ‘art’ continues the splitting into two, this time doubling, or dividing as either a monument or a tomb.