so, for whatever reason, a scary amount of great architects have ended up dying poor and alone. it is almost comical how often this is the case when you look into an architect you come across. however, i think that the great adolf loos may take the cake for the harshest bio i have come across so far.
Born in 1870 in Brno, Moravia, Loos was only nine when his stonemason father died. A rebellious boy who rather lost his bearings, he failed in various attempts to get through architecture school. Contracting syphilis in the brothels of Vienna, by 21 he was sterile and in 1893 his mother disowned him. He stayed in America for three years, he had an uncle living in Philadelphia, he visited the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, appreciated the work of Louis Sullivan, visited St. Louis and did odd jobs in New York. He somehow found himself in that process and returned to Vienna in 1896 a man of taste and intellectual refinement, immediately entering the fashionable Viennese intelligentsia. His friends included Ludwig Wittgenstein, Arnold Schönberg, Peter Altenberg and Karl Kraus. He quickly established himself as the preferred architect of Vienna’s cultured bourgeoisie. Diagnosed with cancer in 1918, his stomach, appendix and part of his intestine were removed. For the rest of his life he could only digest ham and cream. He had several unhappy marriages. By the time he was fifty he was almost completely deaf; in 1928 he was disgraced by a paedophilia scandal and at his death in 1933 at 62 he was penniless.
i mean...how do you compete with that?
so, you have probably heard of the great american architect mentioned in the bio, louis sullivan. he completely changed the rules in architecture, was the father of modernism, the mentor of frank lloyd wright, and often referred to as the inventor of the skyscraper. ...yeah, he died alone, penniless and drunk.
i am going to go ahead and start drinking heavily, hitting the penicillin pretty hard, and eating ham and cream out of dumpsters now in hopes of becoming a great architect. who am i kidding, i have been doing two out of those three things regularly for years. i am on my way, guys. i am on my way.