The Project and the Association

A new project and two exhibitions by the Werkbund (German Association of Craftsmen)

At this point, we would like to draw attention to an institution which played a major role in the history of Germany's architecture and that of Deutsche Werkstätten, the Werkbund. It was founded in Munich in 1907, and devoted itself to "the refinement of commercial work in interaction with art, industry and crafts through education, propaganda and a closed position on relevant questions" (see the statutes, purpose of foundation). Deutsche Werkstätten were among the founding members along with numerous architects who also worked in Hellerau and for Deutsche Werkstätten, for example Hermann Muthesius, Peter Behrens, Josef Hoffmann, Bruno Paul, Richard Riemerschmid, Josef Olbrich, Adelbert Niemeyer and Wilhelm Kreis. Together, they all pursued one goal: the improvement in quality of industrial and handcrafted products, also with regards to design. The association has devoted itself to many different types of projects over the decades. These included settlements or building exhibitions, which sometimes gave rise to highly controversial discussions in specialist circles. The best known attempt to find answers to the burning questions of contemporary architecture and urban planning was probably the settlement "Weißenhofsiedlung" in Stuttgart.

On the initiative of the Berlin Werkbund, this important tradition is now being continued. In Charlottenburg the new settlement, or city according to the official title ꞌWerkbundstadtꞌ, is being built. Here, the city of the 21st century, with all its references and structures, is being rethought. The participants are some of the best German and German-speaking architects of the present day who gathered for this "act of the century". On the river Spreebord in Berlin one can look at both the historical and the highly modern concepts and plans in two exhibitions. We had the opportunity to participant in this as we did in the exhibition of the Werkbund at the Architecture Biennial in Venice in 2014. We supported the project by supplying exhibition displays, large, free-standing panels and lecturns. The panels are colour-coded and can be combined freely, so that adaptation to different rooms is possible. After all, the presentation still has to go on tour. The special highlight is the hinges between the individual panels, which also connect the elements. Since no commercial product could satisfy the requirements of the system, we ꞌsimplyꞌ commissioned custom-made products. Nothing is good enough for our old new partners.

Perhaps you want to look at the place where the action is:
The exhibition of the designs for the "WerkbundStadt Am Spreebord Berlin" and the exhibition " Bauen und Wohnen – Die Geschichte der Werkbundsiedlungen."
24.09. - 27.11.2016, Thursday - Sunday, 4 - 7pm
(Guided tours through the historical exhibition take place every Sunday at 4:30 pm) at the Werkbundhaus, Quedlinburger Straße 11, 10589 Berlin
Admission free.

Photos: Stefan Müller

Text: PR Deutsche Werkstätten