Both halves of the former residential building, each of which have been given different focuses, can be viewed during the visit.
The history of the Weissenhof Estate is presented in the left half of the building, including its seventeen architects with models, photographs, plans, and various objects. The exhibition is organized chronologically and spans the period from 1907, when the Deutscher Werkbund was founded, to 2006, when the museum was opened. The museum design is based on the original floorplan.
Visitors can experience Le Corbusier’s design of a “transformable dwelling” from 1927 in the right half of the building. The restored floorplan, the changeable space, the furniture, and the color schemes are based on historic sources and the results of conservational studies.
The former library contains information about Le Corbusier in Stuttgart. The relief models and sketches of the color schemes visualize the special features of his Weissenhof buildings. Two of his trailblazing books from the 1920s that were published by Stuttgart publishers are also on display.
The rooftop garden with its flower garden and covered promenade are essential elements of Le Corbusier’s architecture. There is a panoramic view of Stuttgart from this vantage point.
The small room on the roof level, which was formerly used as a library or workspace, has direct access to the rooftop garden. Today visitors can consult several publications here.
After 1927 the Weissenhof Estate went through a period of ups and downs. Denounced by the Third Reich and a victim of later neglect, the estate was granted landmark status in 1957. Between 1982 and 1987 it was restored for the first time. Prior to the opening of the Weissenhof Museum in 2006 it was carefully restored for a second time.
The success of the Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart resulted in the construction of five similar model estates in other locations by 1933. Parallel to this development, a counterproject, the Kochenhof Estate, was built in close proximity to the Weissenhof Estate. Ten buildings in the Weissenhof Estate were destroyed during World War II and later replaced with new buildings.
The model shows the steel skeleton construction of building 17, which was designed as a prefabricated house by Walter Gropius. The building was destroyed in the war.
The model of the Spiegelglashalle (Plate-Glass Hall), which was exhibited in Stuttgart, shows the prototype of the Barcelona Pavilion that Mies van der Rohe designed for the World’s Fair in 1929.
The exhibition “Die Wohnung” was held at four locations in 1927. In addition to the Weissenhof Estate, there was an experimental site for new building techniques and materials. There were also two exhibitions on new architecture from around the world and on modern furnishings and new household appliances.
Exemplary buildings give an overview of the work of the Weissenhof architects. Following the removal of a fireplace that had been added later, the original color scheme was restored on a large scale.
Using the slidable device, visitors can retrace the controversial and difficult design choices faced by the architects. The original blue wall color is preserved in one corner.
The model of the Weissenhof Estate on a scale of 1:100 shows the terraced-shaped arrangement of the thirty-three buildings as visitors to the exhibition saw them in 1927.
In 1925 the Deutscher Werkbund started preparing the Weissenhof exhibition in collaboration with the city of Stuttgart.
At night the children’s bedroom was separated from the living room by a sliding wall. A door leads to the back corridor, which is only sixty centimeters wide, like in the sleeping car of a train.
The large living room was divided by a sliding wall at night. Beds on runners of steel tubing, which were stored in closets, were designed especially for the idea of the “transformable dwelling.” In this way, the living area could be transformed into two bedrooms.
Le Corbusier considered the breakfast room to be a multipurpose room used for having meals, receiving guests, or working.
The functional kitchen with a gas stove, built-in furniture, and a concrete countertop were intended to provide optimal organization for housework according to the latest developments.
With bright natural lighting in the bathroom, Le Corbusier met one of the hygienic demands of New Building. This may come as a surprise to visitors.
Cloakroom and lockers
Reception and museum shop with a small assortment of books and postcards
Storage room (not open to visitors)
The maid’s room on the ground floor was used as a bedroom for young women from the surrounding countryside, who in the 1920s were often given room and board in exchange for taking care of the children.
Former pantry room
The entrance space is reduced to the smallest area possible. It has direct access to the supply room, the maid’s room, the garden, the laundry room, the basement, and the main floor.
In the former laundry room there is a listening station. Alfred Roth, Le Corbusier’s contractor, explains the “transformable two semidetached houses” in his own words.