The Weissenhofsiedlung settlement is one of the most significant landmarks of modern architecture: It was built in 1927 as a building exhibition staged by German Work Federation. Under the artistic direction of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 17 architects from Germany, Holland, Austria and Switzerland created what was considered an exemplary model for modern urban living.

Building land and financing were made available by the City of Stuttgart: Within a period of just 21 weeks, 21 buildings comprising a total of 63 apartments were constructed.

As part of a series of German Work Federation exhibitions during the twenties and thirties of the 20th Century, the Weissenhofsiedlung was undoubtedly the one which gained the greatest international acclaim and had the highest impact in spreading the "New Building" movement as an architectural expression of modernity. Those involved in the project were among the most important pioneers and avantguardists from the world of modern architecture: Mies van der Rohe as the artistic director of the exhibition, Le Corbusier, Gropius, Hilberseimer, Scharoun, Max and BrunoTaut, Poelzig, Behrens, Oud, Stamm, Döcker and others.

Weißenhofsiedlung - family home (Hans Scharoun)Vergrößern
The architect Hans Scharoun designed this detached family home for the Work Federation building exhibition. Photo: Stuttgart Marketing

Significance and impact

Over its eventful history, the Weissenhofsiedlung settlement has been a mirror of social and cultural change throughout the 20th century, making it a significant reference point from which to glimpse into the future of urban development. Despite damage during World War II and changes to the building substance, the Weissenhofsiedlung estate is still considered to be a unique architectural ensemble to the present day.

The international reputation of the Weissenofsiedlung as an architectural landmark draws around 30,000 visitors a year to the Weissenhof site.

Weißenhofsiedlung - Five terraced homes  (J.J.P.Oud)Vergrößern
Five terraced homes by J.J.P. Oud at the Weissenhofsiedlung. Photo: City of Stuttgart

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