In 1927, the German Werkbund (German Association of Artists Works) organized a generously conceived exhibition in cooperation with the city of Stuttgart, which, under the programmatic title “A Flat”, presented ideas about 20th century construction of individual and collective housing in the 20th century. The Feuerbach plain over Stuttgart in place of the former Philip Weiss farmyard (hence the name Weissenhof) 17 architects representing European avant-garde implemented their designs. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, then Vice-president of Werkbund, was the author of the housing estate plan and of the largest residential block.
In her now legendary 1969 lecture in her native Brno, Grete Tugendhat recalled among others that the Weissenhof housing estate strongly impressed her. It was then that she and her future husband Fritz Tugendhat had been planning to build a house in Brno. The young builders approached architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, asking him to design their family villa in Brno.
Just one year later, in September 1928, when Mies first visited Brno, an “Exhibition of Modern Housing – A New House (Nový dům)” was organized in Brno. It was part of a generously conceived Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno on the 10th anniversary of founding Czechoslovakia, at the newly built trade fair grounds in Brno-Pisárky. The organizers almost programmatically quoted patterns from Stuttgart’s Weissenhof. The Nový dům housing estate below the Wilson forest in Brno-Žabovřesky became second such venture after Stuttgart. In comparison with other building exhibitions in Europe, which took place until 1932 (Stuttgart, Brno, Wroclaw, Zurich, Vienna, Prague) it was a purely developer enterprise of a private building company.
The exhibition documenting the history and concept of the Weissenhof housing estate was prepared by the Director of the Weissenhof Museum in Stuttgart. Anja Krämer. Visitors will become acquainted with one of the most important 20th century building ensembles, which became the modernist manifesto.