From 31 March to 5 June 2016, the Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw hosts the exhibition „A Way to Modernity. The Werkbund Estates 1927–1932“.
The experimental Werkbund estates, erected in Europe in the years 1927–1932, exerted a major impact on the development of modern architecture all over the world by initiating an architectural and urban planning revolution of the first half of the 20th century. Local Werkbund divisions developed six modernistic residential complexes in Stuttgart, Bern, Zurich, Prague, Vienna and Wrocław.
The Brno colony Brno “Nový dům” colony was the second exemplary housing estate right after Stuttgart. It was presented to the public in September 1928 as part of the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture. Sixteen houses in Brno-Žabovřesky were designed by architects Hugo Foltýn, Bohuslav Fuchs, Jaroslav Grunt, Jiří Kroha, Miroslav Putna, Jaroslav Syřiště, Josef Štěpánek, Jan Víšek and Ernst Wiesner.
The principal goal of the exhibition is to present all eight estates altogether for the first time, and by that means, to highlight their importance against the European cultural heritage. Owing to the collaboration of six municipalities forming an international network of the Werkbund housing estates and the institutions associated with them, we intend to present original elements of interior decoration and furnishings, historical blueprints, architectural designs and publications as well as archival and contemporary photographic documentation, including mock-ups of estates and individual houses. The exhibition will be accompanied by publication of a catalogue in Polish, English, Czech and German as well as speeches and discussions.
The exhibition takes place as part of the architectural plan for the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 and is financed with funds from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage which are distributed by the National Music Forum. The project is carried out in cooperation with the Impart Festival Office 2016 who is the organiser of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016.
The Brno City Museum also participated in the realization of this large-scale exhibition. Jindřich Chatrný prepared the section on the Nový dům colony of Brno and is also the author of the text in the exhibition catalogue. Jindřich Chatrný and Dagmar Černoušková from the Department of Architecture History at the Brno City Museum are also co-editors of the Czech version of the catalogue.