Weissenhof Housing Settlement in Stuttgart (built 1927)
The Weissenhof Estate was built in 1927 for the Deutscher Werkbund International Exhibition in Stuttgart under the direction of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The exhibition aimed to demonstrate the potential of modern architectural design in housing construction. The architects invited to contribute to the exhibition were the preeminent modernists of the day; they included Walter Gropius, Bruno Taut, Erich Mendelsohn, Hans Poelzig, Le Corbusier, and Mies himself. There was only one design requirement: each building had to have a flat roof. The flat roof was supposed to symbolize the unity of the so-called New Building [Neues Bauen] and at the same time provoke a reaction. The Weissenhof Settlement succeeded on both counts. It became a leading example of the new modernist style and earned the enmity of the Stuttgart “League for Heimat Protection” [Bund für Heimatschutz], which referred to it as the “Arab village” [Araberdorf] and called for it be torn down.