Ex­am­in­ing Ed­in­burgh

This lit­tle piggy was stumped

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

IT is al­ways a de­light to come across this un­usual pig tree stump on our reg­u­lar walk along the banks of the Tweed near Pee­bles. We think he’s rather pic­turesque. Bar­ney Camp­bell, Scot­tish Bor­ders

IT was good to see Ed­in­burgh New Town cel­e­brated (‘The Athens of the North’, Au­gust 16), but for Hugh Buchanan to blame the crass mis­takes of the city’s ‘Mod­ernist’ plan­ners on ‘the 1930s Czech ar­chi­tect Adolf Loos’ (be­low) is ab­surd and un­fair. For a start, Loos— who was born in Mo­ravia, but re­garded him­self as a cit­i­zen of the Aus­tro-hun­gar­ian em­pire—died in 1933 and al­most all of his work was car­ried out in the decades be­fore and af­ter the First World War.

Sec­ond, his fa­mous es­say Or­na­ment and Crime was a witty crit­i­cism of the mean­ing­less or­na­ment, whether neo-baroque or Ju­gend­stil, typ­i­cal of late Hab­s­burg Vi­enna. And, most im­por­tant of all, Loos was es­sen­tially a Clas­si­cist him­self—see his build­ing in the Michael­er­platz in Vi­enna—and greatly ad­mired the aus­tere brick ter­races of Ge­or­gian London.

Blame Le Cor­bus­ier for mod­ern ar­chi­tec­tural in­sen­si­tiv­ity and ig­no­rance if you like, but not the ad­mirable Loos. Gavin Stamp, London

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