Weissenhof Estate
The Weissenhof Estate is a housing estate
Housing estate
A housing estate is a group of buildings built together as a single development. The exact form may vary from country to country. Accordingly, a housing estate is usually built by a single contractor, with only a few styles of house or building design, so they tend to be uniform in appearance...

 built for exhibition in Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

 in 1927. It was an international showcase of what later became known as the International style
International style (architecture)
The International style is a major architectural style that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s, the formative decades of Modern architecture. The term originated from the name of a book by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, The International Style...

 of modern architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...


History and description

The estate was built for the Deutscher Werkbund
Deutscher Werkbund
The Deutscher Werkbund was a German association of artists, architects, designers, and industrialists. The Werkbund was to become an important event in the development of modern architecture and industrial design, particularly in the later creation of the Bauhaus school of design...

 exhibition of 1927
1927 in architecture
The year 1927 in architecture involved some significant events.-Buildings:*Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart, designed by a team led by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is completed.*Battersea Power Station in London, designed by Giles Gilbert Scott....

, and included twenty-one buildings comprising sixty dwellings, designed by seventeen European architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

s, most of them German-speaking. The German architect Mies van der Rohe was in charge of the project on behalf of the city, and it was he who selected the architects, budgeted and coordinated their entries, prepared the site, and oversaw construction. Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

 was awarded the two prime sites, facing the city, and by far the largest budget.

The twenty-one buildings vary slightly in form, consisting of terrace
Terraced house
In architecture and city planning, a terrace house, terrace, row house, linked house or townhouse is a style of medium-density housing that originated in Great Britain in the late 17th century, where a row of identical or mirror-image houses share side walls...

d and detached houses and apartment buildings, and display a strong consistency of design. What they have in common are their simplified facade
A facade or façade is generally one exterior side of a building, usually, but not always, the front. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face"....

s, flat roof
A roof is the covering on the uppermost part of a building. A roof protects the building and its contents from the effects of weather. Structures that require roofs range from a letter box to a cathedral or stadium, dwellings being the most numerous....

s used as terraces, window
A window is a transparent or translucent opening in a wall or door that allows the passage of light and, if not closed or sealed, air and sound. Windows are usually glazed or covered in some other transparent or translucent material like float glass. Windows are held in place by frames, which...

 bands, open plan
Open plan
Open plan is the generic term used in architectural and interior design for any floor plan which makes use of large, open spaces and minimizes the use of small, enclosed rooms such as private offices...

 interiors, and the high level of prefabrication
Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site, and transporting complete assemblies or sub-assemblies to the construction site where the structure is to be located...

 which permitted their erection in just five months. All but two of the entries were white. Bruno Taut
Bruno Taut
Bruno Julius Florian Taut , was a prolific German architect, urban planner and author active during the Weimar period....

 had his entry, the smallest, painted a bright red.

Advertised as a prototype of future workers' housing, in fact each of these houses was customized and furnished on a budget far out of a normal workers reach, and with little direct relevance to the technical challenges of standardized mass construction. The exhibition opened to the public on July 23, 1927, a year late, and drew large crowds.


Of the original twenty-one buildings, eleven survive as of 2006. Bombing damage during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 is responsible for the complete loss of the homes by Gropius, Hilberseimer, Bruno Taut, Poelzig, Max Taut (home 24), and Döcker. Another of Max Taut's homes (23) was demolished in the 1950s, as was Rading's.

List of homes

  • 1-4: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
    Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
    Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German architect. He is commonly referred to and addressed as Mies, his surname....

  • 5-9: J.P. Oud
  • 10: Victor Bourgeois
    Victor Bourgeois
    Victor Bourgeois was a Belgian architect and urban planner, considered the greatest Belgian modernist architect....

    • Originally, the lot was to be built on by Adolf Loos
      Adolf Loos
      Adolf Franz Karl Viktor Maria Loos was a Moravian-born Austro-Hungarian architect. He was influential in European Modern architecture, and in his essay Ornament and Crime he repudiated the florid style of the Vienna Secession, the Austrian version of Art Nouveau...

      , but he was scrapped from the list after run-ins with and criticism of the Werkbund. Instead, Bourgeois built a home that was more traditional than the planned design by Loos, which was to have an . One unique feature is a wine cellar from gravel
      Gravel is composed of unconsolidated rock fragments that have a general particle size range and include size classes from granule- to boulder-sized fragments. Gravel can be sub-categorized into granule and cobble...

       rather than concrete. The two-story family home was damaged during the war, and was turned into a two-family dwelling afterward.
  • 11 and 12: Adolf Gustav Schneck
  • 13-15: Le Corbusier
    Le Corbusier
    Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

     and Pierre Jeanneret
    Pierre Jeanneret
    Pierre Jeanneret was a Swiss architect who collaborated with his more famous brother Charles Edouard Jeanneret for about twenty years....

  • 16 and 17: Walter Gropius
    Walter Gropius
    Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture....

  • 18: Ludwig Hilberseimer
    Ludwig Hilberseimer
    Ludwig Karl Hilberseimer was a German architect and urban planner best known for his ties to the Bauhaus and to Mies van der Rohe, as well as for his work in urban planning at Armour Institute of Technology , in Chicago, Illinois.-Life:Hilberseimer studied architecture at the Karlsruhe Technical...

    • Designed for a family of six, painted in light gray. For reasons of economy, Hilberseimer's planned sliding windows were replaced with cheaper, conventional buildings--when Hilberseimer visited the finished house, he did not recognize it. The building was destroyed in the war; a conventional home now occupies the plot.
  • 19: Bruno Taut
    Bruno Taut
    Bruno Julius Florian Taut , was a prolific German architect, urban planner and author active during the Weimar period....

    • Taut was part of the group on the recommendation of his older brother, Max Taut. House 19 is a single-family, two-story home with a basement, designed as a "proletarian's home." His house was painted red, blue, and yellow, and was destroyed in the war.
  • 20: Hans Poelzig
    Hans Poelzig
    Hans Poelzig was a German architect, painter and set designer.-Life:Poelzig was born in Berlin in 1869 to the countess Clara Henrietta Maria Poelzig while she was married to George Acland Ames, an Englishman...

    • Poelzig's contribution is a single-family, two-story home with a winter garden and a sun terrace as prominent features. It was destroyed in the war.
  • 21 and 22: Richard Döcker
    Richard Döcker
    Richard Döcker was a German architect and professor associated with the functionalist style in architecture.-Biography:...

    • Döcker was assigned two lots in van der Rohe's plan, between Rathenaustraße and Bruckmannweg. He originally designed two connected homes, based on his belief in connections between buildings and spaces, but changed the plans after seeing that none of the other buildings on the estate were connected. Both were single-family homes, no. 22 with one and a half stories, including a garage (the only home on the estate with one). Döcker wanted brightly colored homes; what color they were painted can no longer be determined since both were destroyed completely in the war.
  • 23 and 24: Max Taut
    Max Taut
    Max Taut was a German architect.- Biography :Max Taut was born in Königsberg, the younger brother of Bruno Taut. He, his brother and Franz Hoffman formed Taut & Hoffman, an architecture firm in Berlin, In the 1920s, Max Taut was particularly known for his office buildings for trade unions...

  • 25: Adolf Rading
    Adolf Rading
    Adolf Peter Rading was a German architect of the Neues Bauen period, also active in Palestine and Great Britain....

  • 26 and 27: Josef Frank
    Josef Frank (architect)
    Josef Frank was an Austrian-born architect, artist, and designer who adopted Swedish citizenship in the latter half of his life. Together with Oskar Strnad, he created the Vienna School of Architecture, and its concept of Modern houses, housing and interiors.- Life :Josef Frank was of Jewish...

  • 28-30: Mart Stam
    Mart Stam
    Mart Stam was a Dutch architect, urban planner, and furniture designer. Stam was extraordinarily well-connected, and his career intersects with important moments in the history of 20th century European architecture, including chair design at the Bauhaus, the Weissenhof Estate, the "Van Nelle...

  • 31 and 32: Peter Behrens
    Peter Behrens
    Peter Behrens was a German architect and designer. He was important for the modernist movement, as several of the movements leading names worked for him when they were young.-Biography:Behrens attended the Christianeum Hamburg from September 1877 until Easter 1882...

  • 33: Hans Scharoun
    Hans Scharoun
    Bernhard Hans Henry Scharoun was a German architect best known for designing the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall and the in Löbau, Saxony. He was an important exponent of Organic architecture....

    • A much more curved design than the other (angular) buildings, Scharoun's is a single-family home with two stories and a basement.

External links

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