A Gem for Architecture Fans
The world famous Weissenhof Estate on Stuttgart`s Killesberg is one of the architectural highlights of Baden-Württemberg’s state capital.
The Weissenhof Estate was created under the artistic direction of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as an exemplary housing program for city dwellers. The two houses designed by Le Corbusier are a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the first in Stuttgart.
Le Corbusier, whose semidetached house, built in 1927, is described by architecture historians as an icon of modern architecture, uniquely aesthetic with its modern ground plan and minimalistic interior typical of the architectural style of the Weissenhof Estate. Following extensive renovation work on the inside, the façades and the garden, the Le Corbusier House opened its doors to the public on 26th October 2006.
Architecture enthusiasts now have the opportunity of viewing the interior of an original Weissenhof Estate building. The Weissenhof Museum gives stirring and fascinating insights into the history of the Weissenhof Estate and of Le Corbusiers (1887-1965) architecture.
The circular tour of the museum takes visitors through both halves of the house, which fulfil different functions in the museum concept by reason of their different structural conditions following conversion in 1932 and renovation in the 1980s. The left half, Rathenaustrasse 1, houses an exhibition documenting the origins, aims and development of the Weissenhof Estate and information on the famous architects of the “Neues Bauen” movement. Two of the most interesting original documents in this exhibition are the catalogue of the Werkbund Exhibition and the stamp advertising it, which was designed by the Stuttgart artist Willi Baumeister. The right half of the house, Rathenaustrasse 3, is dedicated to 1927, the year that the Werkbund Exhibition opened at the Weissenhof. It has been reconstructed as an authentic replica in accordance with Le Corbusier`s original plans and colour scheme. Visitors can even admire some of the furniture of the day in the tradition of the “Bauhaus” (International) style. Particularly impressive is the panoramic view of Stuttgart from the building`s roof terrace, an integral part of Le Corbusier`s original architectural concept.
The housing estate at the Weissenhof was designed in 1927 for the Werkbund`s exhibition “Die Wohnung” by 17 architects of the “Neues Bauen” movement from five European countries, including Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Hans Scharoun. At the time the Deutsche Werkbund succeeded in getting the city of Stuttgart to commission the project: an innovative exhibition of architecture whose fully functional show houses would serve as permanent dwellings after the exhibition closed.
The object of the exhibition was to present concepts for “Neues Wohnen” (New Living) from the point of view of economy, functionality, construction, technical fittings and furnishings. After the extremely successful exhibition, which in only three months was visited by some half a million people from Germany and abroad, the city of Stuttgart found tenants for the houses. At the end of the 1930s Stuttgart sold the dwellings to the German Reich, so today the estate is still owned by the German Reich`s legal successor, the Federal Republic. Of the 21 buildings erected in 1927 eleven are still in existence and occupied. The whole estate has been classified as a historical monument since 1958. Between 1981 and 1987 the houses underwent extensive renovation. Nowadays the quarter is regarded as one of the world`s most important architectural monuments of Classical Modernism.
UNESCO World Heritage: Since 17th July 2016 the two Le Corbusier houses at the Weissenhof Estate – the duplex structure containing the Weissenhof Museum and the detached house behind it – are proud to bear the title “UNESCO World Heritage Site”.
Weissenhof Museum im Haus Le Corbusier
Rathenaustrasse 1- 3, 70191 Stuttgart