Friday, 10 May 2019


Via the always brilliant Nag on the Lake, we learn about the Frankfurt kitchen (die Frankfurter Küche), which transformed our relationship to food preparation, dining and living, created by interbellum designer Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (*1897 – †2000) and first Austrian woman to be credentialed as an architect.
Assigned the task of creating the kitchen spaces for a new, post-war housing project to rebuild Frankfurt am Main in 1926, Schütte-Lihotzky took inspiration from the efficiencies of railway dining cars and created kitchens for hundreds of thousands of units and though perhaps not as narrow, one can detect elements of Schütte-Lihotzky’s vision and basic layout in our own new kitchen. Sensing the eminent fall of the Weimar Republic, she and other architects joined Ernst May—the chief designer behind the New Frankfurt project and other rebuilding and re-housing efforts to form the “May Brigade” and went off to the Soviet Union to help with Stalin’s Five Year Plan. Once conditions again became untenable during the Great Purge (Большой террор, 1937 – 1938), their group became unrooted again and Schütte-Lihotzky settled in Chicago and worked on the World’s Fair Century of Progress exposition.