Stuttgart Weißenhof Estate (Bauhaus) – House Scharoun
The Weißenhof Estate near the Killesberg in Stuttgart consists of 21 houses with a total of 63 homes. The settlement was built in 1927 as part of an exhibition with the title “The Home”, which presents modern architecture, the use of new building materials and rational building methods. The houses were erected in only 21 weeks construction time. The project involved renowned architects of Bauhaus architecture, including Le Corbusier, Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and Scharoun. Architects from Stuttgart were not taken into consideration, which caused a lot of criticism. Paul Bonatz, the architect of Stuttgart Central Station, is supposed to have said that the settlement looked “like a suburb of Jerusalem”.
The avant-garde Bauhaus architecture was controversial. With the Weißenhof Estate, for example, it was above all the National Socialists who dealt out harsh criticism. They called the architecture “un-German” or “degenerate.” Near the Weißenhof Estate they had a counter-project built in the traditional, “German” architecture. During the Second World War, the estate was badly damaged by bombings. After the war, destroyed buildings were torn down and replaced by rather inappropriate buildings, as there were still reservations about this architecture. It was not until the end of the 1970s that efforts were made to rebuild and maintain the estate. A general renovation in 1981-1987 included the dismantling of alterations, renovation, modernization and restoration of ground plans. Today, one sees above all the role of the Weißenhof Estate at the advent of modernity. The Weißenhof Museum was established in the semi-detached house of Le Corbusier in 2006. Together with a second Weißenhof house and other buildings by Le Corbusier, the building was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.
This Schreiber Sheet shows a house in the Weißenhof Estate designed by the architect Hans Scharoun (1893-1972), one of the most important representatives of organic architecture. His design attracted attention with its curvatures and roundness and was thus clearly different from the cube-shaped designs of the participating colleagues. For this reason it was not certain at first whether he should be included in the planning. It was only late that Scharoun received the permission to participate in the project. The unusual shape of the house also attracted public criticism. In the 1930s, the Nazis used a photograph of the house for their propaganda: on a poster they printed a photomontage of a camel and an Arab in front of the Scharoun House.
On the two floors of the house there are four rooms, bathroom and kitchen. The children’s room can be divided into two areas. In the living and dining room provision was made for a special area for children. Below the stairs to the upper floor there used to be a chamber for a maid. The Scharoun house is still inhabited today. The tenants had to comply with the exact specifications of the Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments when designing and furnishing their house.