Adolf Loos (1870 - 1933) belonged to the generation of central European artists, writers, designers and composers whose work influenced and introduced the Modern movement. Like his younger contemporary, Le Corbusier, he combined practice with polemical writings, exemplified by his essay 'Ornament and Crime'. He challenged the eclectic and heavily embellished imperial architecture of Vienna, and more fundamentally the backward-looking spirit of the late 19th century and attacked superficial ornamentation as wasteful and a sign of primitiveness that was holding back the development of humanity. His belief that excess decoration could be replaced by the use of fine materials and craftsmanship is evidenced in his built work which was to bring him more public attention.
Taken from "Great Architects: Adolf Loos by The RIBA".