From its foundation in 1912, the Austrian Werkbund focussed on making quality affordable for the masses. It was an important aspect of the Werkbund estate in Vienna, which arose between 1930 and 1932 under the motto ‘Modern houses for future housing estates – economies of price and scale’.
The Vienna estate was built under the direction of Josef Frank, who had been involved in the Weissenhof estate in Stuttgart in 1927. Of the 33 architects, one was a woman – Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. Three were from other European countries: Gerrit Rietveld was Dutch, Hugo Häring German, and André Lurcat French. Richard Neutra, although born in Vienna, was working in the US at the time.
The 1932 exhibition lasted for eight weeks. More than 100,000 visitors came to see the 70 fully furnished villas, semi-detached houses and terraced houses, from both outside and inside.
Between 2011 and 2017, the 48 houses belonging to the City of Vienna underwent comprehensive rehabilitation to restore them to their original condition whilst assuring modern living standards. The Vienna Werkbund estate houses are all currently in residential use, as was the original intention.