The Weissenhof estate built in 1927 was part of the German Werkbund experimental exhibition ‘Home’ (Die Wohnung). Aspiring to a new approach to housing shortages at the end of WWI it demonstrated how healthy housing could be efficiently constructed at reasonable cost.
Seventeen European avant-garde architects were invited to draft solutions suitable for ‘modern city-dwelling’. Very quickly, 21 fully functional experimental buildings containing 63 apartments arose.
The Weissenhof estate uniquely represents the ‘classic’ modernist approach. It is unequalled as a location wherein the avant-garde worked together to present a programmatic approach. Consistently cubist elements evidence a newly forged architectural mode, later to become an ‘international style’ and the outward aspect of the 20th century.
National socialism ostracised the estate as a ‘cultural eyesore’; during WWII and its aftermath, ten buildings were lost. After a period of neglect, the estate was placed under a conservation order in 1958, and in the 1980s saw comprehensive rehabilitation. The Weissenhof Museum opened in 2006 in ‘twin houses’ designed by Le Corbusier. In 2016, as part of a ‘serial property’ and a transnational one, these were entered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, under ‘The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement’.