Following the international acclaim of Stuttgart’s Werkbund exhibition, a prestigious exhibition in Wroclaw in 1929 was dubbed WuWA (‘Wohnung und Werkraum’ – Living and Work Spaces).
32 buildings and 132 residential units were open to visitors for three months. WuWa’s concepts were resolutely experimental and social-utopian in nature: they were a response to social changes including the changing role of women within the family and at work. Thus the estate included a kindergarten: moreover, Hans Scharoun’s single persons’ residence (Ledigenheim) and Adolf Rading’s ‘tower house’ (multi-family dwelling) preached new kinds of cohabitation and communal living. After the exhibition, artists, architects and writers lived in the experimental settlement.
During WWII while 80 % of Breslau was destroyed, the estate was almost untouched. Renamed Wroclaw, the city belonged to Poland. New residents moved into the city and Werkbund settlement. Professional circles were the first to recognise WuWA’s unique values. In 1972, Scharoun’s single persons’ residence was made a protected building; in 1979, this applied to all WuWA buildings. Since 2007, the entire complex has been subject to heritage protection law. The neighbouring Centennial Hall was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. The WuWa estate lies in its ‘buffer zone’.