After years of planing to do this, we finally visited the Weissenhofsiedlung and museum in Stuttgart this Easter weekend. Definitely worth a visit!
It was developed as a showcase of a “new living” (Neues Wohnen) in the 1920s by the “Deutscher Werkbund” (remember the similar project of the Austrian “Werkbund”?) and the city of Stuttgart. The initiative came from no other than Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – yes, the one who designed the German pavillon on the 1929 World Exhibiton in Barcelona, including the famous Barcelona chair. He also directed the work on the 33 buildings, that should exemplify visions of modern urban effective living. Besides Mies van der Rohe himself 17 other architects – f.ex. Adolf Gustav Schneck (as well architect of the “Haus auf der Alb”), Walter Gropius (founder of the Bauhaus), Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret – made their contribution to this avantgarde architecture project.
Although the Weissenhofsiedlung – like this new way of architecture and design in general – earned a lot of hostility during the building process as well as later on, most of the houses of this estate survived till this day.
In 2002 the city of Stuttgart decided to buy the Le Corbusier two-family house. After renovation it was opened in 2005 as an museum. While the one half of the building was transformed into an information centre, the right side of the building was restored in the way it looked like in 1927 when the Werkbund exhibition opened, including the coloration and the furniture.
Although I probably wouldn’t want to live in such a model house, I do find the clear Bauhaus design very fascinating and inspiring. And have a look at the pastel-grey colour scheme and the use of concrete … do I have to say something more?