Preservation of historical monument and future warranties

Status as historical monument

The buildings of Werkbund Estate 1927 have been entered into the Register for Historical Monuments as cultural heritage of significant importance. As an entity they are therefore subject to far-reaching protection in accordance with § 12 DSchG (German Historical Monument Code). Additional buildings outside the historical estate are also protected in accordance with § 2 DSchG or are part of the municipal building entity and are protected according to § 172 (1) BauGB (Maintenance Ordinance). In particular, this includes the Schönblick Block (Karl Beer, 1927/28) adjacent to the west.

Future project: Weissenhofsiedlung Foundation

Since Spring 2004 the City of Stuttgart actively pursues its intent to form the Weissenhof Foundation jointly with the Federal Government. Municipal and federal properties are supposed to be merged in this Foundation in order to secure this estate as a special building historical monument.

This initiative is a logical continuation of the city’s responsibility as the former construction principal. The Federal Government’s intentions to sell some of the individual buildings within the estate were the igniting point which caused a public wave of protest against these plans for private ownership.

Le Corbusier and UNESCO World Heritage List

Le Corbusier, as one of the most important architects of the 20th century, has provided significant contributions to modern architecture through his buildings and theoretical treatises. The international dimension of his work and lasting effect form the grounds for initiatives to inscribe his entire work in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Under direction of the French UNESCO Commission and the French Ministry of Culture, an international working group began its task in September 2004. This group is also joined by Stuttgart, the State Capital, and by the Historic Monument Authority of the State of Baden-Württemberg.

The role of Le Corbusier in Weissenhofsiedlung

The Werkbund Exhibition in Stuttgart takes on an important role in the early work of Le Corbusier:

This single-family house is the first implementation of the Citrohan type with a two-storied living room, formulated in 1920. Analogous to automobile design („Citroen“), Le Corbusier worked on a standard house made of standard elements, resembling a “housing machine“. In this pure form, the Citrohan type was implemented only once at Weissenhof.

“Five Points of a New Architecture“
In context with Weissenhofsiedlung, the concept of „Five Points“ (column, roof terrace, free floor plan, wide windows, free façade design) was formulated as a manifesto and implemented with great clarity, especially in the two-family version. The exterior appearance was that of a “hovering house“.

“The transformable house“
Large sliding doors enabled flexible forms of living in the interior of a two-family house. This approach to solve the minimization of building effort displays the even more progressive designs found in the “maisons Loucheur“ (1929).

Le Corbusier and Stuttgart
Within the Stuttgart Community Council, a few years after World War I, there were initially some reservations toward a “French“ architect. His participation, however, was considered of great importance for the international success of the exhibition by Werkbund, and it symbolized the political opening process of Germany at the time. In 1926, the theoretical treatises “Vers une architecture“ by Le Corbusier were published by DVA Stuttgart under the title “Kommende Baukunst“ (Architecture and Design to Come), translated by the Stuttgart art historian Prof. Dr. Hans Hildebrandt, who, as a pioneer of modern design, had known Le Corbusier personally.


Enhancement of Weissenhofsiedlung

Le Corbusier House (Rathenaustr. 1 - 3)

The central element of the Weissenhof concept is the „Le Corbusier House“. The two-family house designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret ist being restored by the Wüstenrot Stiftung as a particularly valuable monument of modern movement architecture and will be made accessible to the public as a museum and information center by the State Capital of Stuttgart.

Historical monument considerations and limited space imposed some restrictions on information and visitor relations. It is therefore even more important to view this building in context with other facilities in Weissenhofsiedlung.

Former “Milchladen” (Am Weissenhof 20)

If today’s function of the “Milchladen“ as an information center is assumed in some extended form by the Le Corbusier two-family house, this area (owned by the Federal Government) is available for subsequent use. The “Freunde der Weissenhofsiedlung” intend to continue using the “Milchladen“, albeit not as a permanent and public site but as some sort of Weissenhof archive which might also be available for scientific studies upon request. Smaller events, such as presentations, could take place here as well.

Architekturgalerie am Weissenhof (Architectural Gallery, Am Weissenhof 30)

Despite very limited space inside the former utility room of Behrens Building, the Architectural Gallery has established itself as a prime address for people interested in architecture. There you will find changing exhibitions on the history and current development of modern architecture. It is sponsored by the BDA (Association of German Architects) and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2002.

Vacant lot Bruckmannweg 10

The vacant lot in Bruckmannweg 10 in Weissenhofsiedlung had already been purchased by the City of Stuttgart in 2000 in order to avoid the piecewise sale of the property. Until its destruction in 1944, this property housed a building by Richard Döcker. The plan is for a housing-compatible utilization, such as housing for “architects in residence“. At the present time there are no financing options available so that a decision on this project has been postponed.


2002 – The Year of Architecture

During the course of the 75th anniversary in 2002, a surplus of events brought new impulses for Weissenhofsiedlung. The most important events were:

International Architecture Forum "From Modernism to the European City"

A total of 635 people interested in architecture met, almost to the day, 75 years after Weissenhofsiedlung had been opened. They came from Germany but also from all over the world, from Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro, and from July 19-21, 2002, they encountered the architectural heritage of modernism and the future of our cities. A documentation of this exposition with presentations by international speakers is available in submenu Architecture Forum 2002.

Exhibition in the Stuttgart City Gallery

For the first time a major public exhibition was dedicated to Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart in 2002. Other than documents and plans for the estate itself, an "Imaginary Museum of Architectural Avant-Garde in Europe and America" presented plans and models for functionalism. They presented a partial reconstruction of the International Plan and Model Exhibition of 1927. This portion of the exhibition represents a traveling exhibition of the Institute for Foreign Relations and can be viewed outside of Germany only. The interactive information system “Weissenhof Digital“ has been presented here for the first time.


Media Projects

"Weissenhof Digital"

An interactive information system relates interesting facts about Weissenhofsiedlung and “Neues Bauen“ (Functionalism), and it facilitates virtual tours in a 3-dimensional computer model. Programming and design were made possible through financial support by IBM Germany and the Mia Seeger Stiftung which enabled the design bureau of mausner & apel to obtain a stipend for content, artistic design and implementation. The Media Team of the City of Stuttgart closely collaborated with the parties involved. Since March 2003, a video terminal has been available at the information center of Weissenhof, and an additional one is planned for the Le Corbusier House.