Found project: Weissenhofsiedlung


    Project : Weissenhofsiedlung

    Language variant : Weissenhof Estate

    Architect : Several architects

    Completion: 1927

    Locality : Stuttgart

    Country : Germany

    Building style : Modern architecture (not specified)

    Project on the map (green arrow)

    Description :

    The Weissenhof Estate was presented to the public on July 23, 1927, as the centerpiece of the German Werkbund exhibition, “The Dwelling”, in Stuttgart. Under the artistic directions of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 16 internationally known architects were invited to present their ideas.

    The outcome was a compendium of modern architecture built on a sloping site above the city. The development also provided a superb illustration of the different architectural approaches of the time and a hitherto unparalleled presentation of the architectural avant-garde of the 1920s.

    The Weissenhof Estate consisted largely of detached single-family houses. Only Mart Stam and Oud built single-family terrace houses in which they addressed the theme of the small dwelling in what Oud termed a “segment of a large-scale housing scheme”.

    Peter Behren’s moderately modern housing block consisted of a series of stepped-down volumes, one to four stories in height, articulated by simple rectangular window openings. The roof areas were to be used as terraces for the dwellings.

    Mies van der Rohe, in contrast, propagated a concept of alternative layouts in his elongated block of flats, which rises impressively above the detached houses scattered over the slope of the site. His freely divisible, flexible layouts within a load-bearing, steel-skeleton frame structure were meant to allow adaptations of the plans to the changing needs of future tenants.

    The two elegant houses Le Corbusier built are given prominence by being raised on slender columns. They were designed to demonstrate the essential points of his new concept of architecture.

    Bruno Taut, on the other hand, wished his contribution to be seen as the “proletarian among the single-family houses”.

    The houses in the central part of the estate suffered the heaviest damage from wartime bombing and conversions and demolition in the postwar years. The buildings that have survived today convey a vivid impression of the original quality and appearance of the Weissenhof Estate.

    Thiel-Siling, Sabine (ed.): Icons of Architecture. The 20th Century. Prestel-Verlag, Munich, 2005, p. 50.

    Ed. Heikki Nikkinen



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    Image © Arto Kuorikoski