Frankfurt kitchen

Frankfurt Kitchen

Frankfurt kitchen

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The Frankfurt kitchen was a milestone in domestic architecture, considered the fore-runner of modern fitted kitchens, for it realised for the first time a kitchen built after a unified concept, designed to enable efficient work and to be built at low cost. It was designed in 1926 by Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky for the social housing project Römerstadt in Frankfurt, Germany, of architect Ernst May. Some 10,000 units were built in the late 1920s in Frankfurt.

Motivation and influences

German cities after the end of World War I were plagued by a serious housing shortage. Various social housing projects were built in the 1920s to increase the number of rental apartments. These large-scale projects had to provide affordable apartments for a great number of typical working class families and thus were subject to tight budget constraints. As a consequence, the apartments designed were comfortable but not spacious, and so the architects sought to reduce costs by applying one design for large numbers of apartments.

Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky's design of the kitchen for the Römerstadt thus had to solve the problem of how to build many kitchens, without allowing it to occupy too much of the total space of the apartment. Her design departed from the then common kitchen-cum-living room. The typical worker's household lived in a two-room apartment, in which the kitchen served many functions at once: besides cooking, one dined, lived, bathed, and even slept there,...
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