A visit to the Weissenhof Estate reveals the richness of ideas involved in the buildings constructed in 1927 and explains their significance in the history of architecture.
A system of signs leads visitors through the estate, providing information about the privately used buildings that are not accessible to visitors. The only building that is open to the public is the museum in the two semidetached houses by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret.

The presentation on the signs is based on the floorplans from the 1927 book Bau und Wohnen (Building and Living).
Ten of the thirty-three original buildings were destroyed during World War II or in the postwar period and replaced by new buildings.
A plaque on the Weissenhofwerkstatt shows the plan of the estate and indicates all of the participating architects.

The Buildings

The 1927 Exhibition

The Weissenhof Estate was created in 1927 within the context of the building exhibition Die Wohnung (The Dwelling) that was organized by the Deutscher Werkbund and financed by the city of Stuttgart. During the exhibition thirty-three buildings could be viewed from the outside and visited on the inside. Following the exhibition they were rented out by the city.
Under the artistic direction of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, seventeen international architects presented thirty-three innovative and forward-looking designs for modern, healthy, affordable, and functional living. The participants included great architects such as Walter Gropius, Hans Scharoun, and Le Corbusier.
In addition to the model houses at the Weissenhof Estate, there were three additional exhibition venues on modern building around the world, on interior design, and on building materials and constructions. Five hundred thousand visitors attended the exhibition, which ran for four months and was noted the world over.

Friends of the Weissenhof Estate

On July 23, 1977, a small circle of friends of the Weissenhof Estate convened to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart. They decided to campaign for the restoration of the buildings that had become quite run-down.
On November 17, 1979, the nonprofit organization Friends of the Weissenhof Estate was officially registered. The first board included Bodo Rasch, Mia Seeger, and Frei Otto.

The Friends are active to this day in issues of renovation and share their knowledge of the history of the Weissenhofsiedlung and its significance. Since 2006 the organization has run the Weissenhof Museum in the Le Corbusier House, presenting exhibitions and organizing a rich cultural program in the Weissenhof Werkstatt in the Mies van der Rohe House.

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Network of Werkbund Estates

Between 1927 and 1932 a total of six Werkbund Estates were created in Stuttgart, Brno, Wrocław, Zurich, Vienna, and Prague. The impulse came from the Stuttgart Weissenhof Estate, which presented the idea of New Building in a way that was unique for the time. The six exhibitions proved to be extremely influential on the development of twentieth-century architecture.
Since 2013 these six cities work together in the network of Werkbund Estates and exchange information on questions of conservation, historical studies, and the communication of the significance of the housing developments.

The Werkbund Estates in Europe 1927–1932 are currently nominated for the European Heritage Label.

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Le Corbusier Cultural Route

In May 2019 the Council of Europe established the cultural route “In the Footsteps of Le Corbusier: Architectural Walks” (Destinations Le Corbusier: Promenades architecturales).
For three years, with the assistance of the Fondation Le Corbusier, the Association des Sites Le Corbusier campaigned for the inclusion of twenty-four architectural sites by Le Corbusier to be included in a European cultural route. The route passes through six countries and twenty-one cities and encourages travelers to discover the multifaceted work of Le Corbusier and his influence on Europe and the entire world.

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Le Corbusier UNESCO Heritage

The pair of semidetached houses and the single-family dwelling by Le Corbusier at the Weissenhof Estate have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List since July 2016. Along with sixteen other building ensembles by Le Corbusier, these buildings are part of the transnational world heritage site entitled “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier: An Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement.” In addition to Stuttgart, the buildings are located in Argentina, Belgium, France, India, Japan, and Switzerland.
The application process for inclusion, which was a joint effort of the seven countries, took several years.
To avoid any misunderstandings: the Weissenhof Estate itself is not included on the World Heritage List.

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