The Weissenhof Estate is one of the most significant landmarks left by the movement known as "Neues Bauen”. The development was erected in 1927 as a residential building exhibition arranged by the City of Stuttgart and the Deutscher Werkbund. Working under the artistic direction of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, seventeen architects created an exemplary residential scheme for modern urban residents.
The architects participating in the exhibition - including Le Corbusier, Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Scharoun and others - were known at that time only in those circles devoted to the international avantgarde. Today they are amongst the most notable masters of modern architecture. To be found at the Weissenhof development are numerous homes built by these architects, all in close proximity one to another. And that's what makes this residential development unique around the world.
The ever-changing story of the Weissenhof Estate reflects the societal and cultural changes of the Twentieth Century. Largely shunned during the Third Reich, destroyed in part during World War II, the development was later approached with a lack of understanding for its precepts. It was only in 1958 that the Weissenhof Estate was enrolled in the register of historical monuments. The 75th anniversary of the Werkbund Exhibition at the Weissenhof provided new impetus. In 2002 it was possible for the City of Stuttgart to purchase Le Corbusier's semi-detached houses, in which to install the Weissenhof Museum.
Of the original twenty-one buildings, eleven survive as of 2006. Bombing damage during World War II is responsible for the complete loss of the homes by Gropius, Hilberseimer, Bruno Taut, Poelzig, Max Taut (House 24), and Döcker. Another of Max Taut's homes (House 23) was demolished in the 1950s, as was Rading's.
This project became a model in Europe, for instance in Hungary, houses of whole Napraforgó Street in Budapest were designed by various designers and entrepreneurs sensitive to modern architecture.