Siedlung Kranichstein Darmstadt, Ernst May, ab 1968 © Hamburgisches Architekturarchiv
28/02/2019 - 19/05/2019

NEUE HEIMAT (1950-1982)

A Social Democratic Utopia and Its Buildings


‘Neue Heimat’ was the largest and most prominent non-state housing corporation in post-war Europe. For more than 30 years, the union-led building corporation was responsible for the planning and construction of more than 400,000 apartments as well as, from the 1960s onwards, numerous municipal and commercial buildings in Germany – the majority of which are still standing.
Neue Heimat’s projects not only emerged from a unique interplay between economic interests and politics, they were also an expression and reflection of West German social history. Over the course of West Germany’s ‘economic miracle’, Neue Heimat embarked on a construction programme that successfully articulated the hopes for a better life harboured by broad sections of the population. These hopes became concrete reality in the buildings constructed by Neue Heimat, which brought lasting change to the lives of many. The scandalous collapse of the corporation in the early 1980s sent shockwaves through West Germany and marked the end of an era.
Through noteworthy case studies, as well as numerous historical photographs, film excerpts, plans, and original models, the exhibition now examines and documents the buildings and projects of Neue Heimat for the first time. The display includes such large-scale housing estates as Neue Vahr in Bremen, whose place in history was assured following the construction of Alvar Aalto’s elegant residential tower, as well as such ‘showpiece construction projects’ (Demonstrativbauvorhaben) as the ‘Emmertsgrund’ in Heidelberg which were part-subsidized by the federal government to tackle the housing crisis of the 1960s. In an effort to counter critics who regarded planned new towns as ‘inhospitable’, Neue Heimat consulted the sociologist Alexander Mitscherlich at the very earliest design stages. Neue Heimat also embarked on what was then the largest estate project in Europe with the construction of the overspill town of Neuperlach in Munich, which was designed to house more than 80,000 people. The unparalleled scale of the corporation’s activities is also evident from such gargantuan building projects as the ICC congress centre in (West) Berlin and the Klinikum in Aachen – not to mention an international (although, even today, relatively unknown) portfolio of buildings in countries as diverse as France, Ghana, and Mexico.
Ever since Neue Heimat was wound up, there has often been an instinctive tendency to dismiss large-scale estates as problematic and undesirable. For some time, this attitude has made it difficult to evaluate the corporation’s architectural legacy and social political goals in a nuanced and historically informed manner. A detailed assessment of Neue Heimat is therefore long overdue: with Germany now experiencing a rising chorus of demands for affordable housing, it has also become clear that cities and local authorities lack any instruments comparable to those available in the era of Neue Heimat to be able to respond to high demand. With the benefit of more than a generation’s hindsight, we are now well placed for a critical survey of Neue Heimat: What has become of the – still much touted – Social Democratic vision of a ‘right to housing for all’?
The exhibition features a number of newly produced interviews that document the history of Neue Heimat. Photographs by Herlinde Koelbl focus on both the residents and buildings of Neuperlach, while Ulrike Myrzik and Manfred Jarisch present a contemporary perspective of housing estates and large-scale projects.

The exhibition is organized by the Architekturmuseum der TUM and the Hamburgisches Architekturarchiv in association with the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte.

The exhibition will subsequently appear at the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte (June 27 until October 6, 2019).

Kiel, Mettenhof, Hans Konwiarz © Hamburgisches Architekturmuseum
Kiel, Mettenhof, Hans Konwiarz © Hamburgisches Architekturmuseum

Weitere Ausstellungen

View in the exhibition Photo: A. Laurenzo
Reflex Bauhaus
40 objects – 5 conversations
08/02/2019 - 17/02/2021
Vorschaubild der App Sound of Design, Entwicklung: Klangerfinder GmbH & Co KG, Zeichnungen: Carla Nagel
Sound of Design
21/02/2019 - 02/02/2022
Judith Joy Ross, Untitled, from the series "Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.", 1983 1984, Bromide silver gelatin print on light-sensitive printing-out paper, gold-toned On permanent loan from Siemens AG since 2003 © Bavarian State Painting Collections
Portraits from August Sander to Rineke Dijkstra
19/05/2020 - 28/02/2021
Bettina Dittlmann, brooch, 2018, magnet, iron, garnets, 15 cm, h. 16 cm
Jewelry in the Pinakothek der Moderne
The New Curated Danner Rotunde
19/05/2020 - 31/12/2020
Astrid Klein, Eine Frau muß geliebt werden- (A woman must be loved ), 1978, Photo: Sprüth Magers © Astrid Klein
21/07/2020 - 17/01/2021
© Anish Kapoor. DACS/VG Bild-Kunst, 2020
Anish Kapoor – HOWL
16/09/2020 - 15/08/2021
29/09/2020 - 28/03/2021
Max Beckmann, Self-portrait, seated with folded hands [recto], 1917, pen and black ink 317 x 239 mm Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München acquired in 2017 with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, Munich Photo: Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020
Max Beckmann / Omer Fast Abfahrt
08/10/2020 - 10/01/2021
The Architecture Machine
The Role of Computers in Architecture
14/10/2020 - 06/06/2021

Planning your visit

As a result of general measures to contain the COVID-19 virus, the Pinakothek der Moderne will remain closed to the public until further notice.

Opening Hours

Daily 10.00 – 18.00
Thursday 10.00 – 20.00
Monday closed


Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer Straße 40
80333 München

Admission prices (Inclusive opening hours )

Sunday admission 1€

Thursday – Saturday 10€
reduced 7€
Day pass (Alte Pinakothek, Pinakothek der Moderne, Museum Brandhorst, Sammlung Schack) 12€

Duration of the visit

ca. 60 minutes


information here

Further visitor information

More information about your visit



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