Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky
© Pressefoto Votava

More than a fitted kitchen

She is considered to be the mother of the fitted kitchen, but Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky spent her whole life not wanting to be reduced to this one attribute. The architect, who was born in Vienna, designed the so-called Frankfurt kitchen in 1926. It was the forerunner of today's fitted kitchen; everything had to be compact and easily within reach, yet have a high claim to design. This standardized kitchen was installed in around 10,000 homes. The idea was influenced by social housing, the theme of Schütte-Lihotzky's life (1897-2000).

"I am not a kitchen"

The invention of the Frankfurt kitchen followed her throughout her life. "I am not a kitchen" is one of her most famous statements. "Had I known that everyone would only talk about this damned kitchen, I would never have invented it," she said in an interview. And rightly so. Because Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky was so much more. The figure of the century was one of the first women in Vienna to study architecture. She was really gripped by social housing; in Red Vienna she designed a number of estate houses – including for the Wiener Werkbundsiedlung, a workers' association housing complex.

Architect & resistance fighter

From 1930, Schütte-Lihotzky lived and worked with her husband in the Soviet Union, later in Istanbul. The remarkable woman was a resistance fighter against National Socialism, was arrested in Vienna, and only just avoided the death penalty. She was imprisoned until the end of the war in 1945. She remained a communist after the war too, which is why she was boycotted as an architect in Vienna.

Nevertheless, she remained faithful to her profession, also working as a publicist and consultant. Well into old age, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky was engaged in the peace and women's movements. This extraordinary woman died 20 years ago in Vienna on January 18, 2000, shortly before her 103rd birthday.

Social housing building in Vienna, exterior view

Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky collaborated as an architect on the Otto-Haas-Hof, a residential building at Winarskystrasse 16-20.

© Harald Jahn / picturedesk.com
Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky

Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, photo around 1935

© Austrian Archives/Imagno/picturedesk.com

Exhibitions

The exhibition “worthy of protection and trendsetting” in the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky room focuses on the architect's five heritage-listed buildings in Vienna from January 17 to June 26, 2020.

Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Raum

Untere Weißgerberstraße 41, 1030 Wien
  • Opening times

    • In case of exhibitions
    • Tu, 10:00 - 14:00
    • We, 10:00 - 14:00
    • Th, 14:00 - 18:00
    • Fr, 14:00 - 18:00
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A replica of the Frankfurt kitchen can be seen on permanent display in the MAK Design Lab at the MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna.

MAK - Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna

Stubenring 5 , 1010 Wien
  • Prices

    • Young people under 19   €0
    • Your benefit with the Vienna City Card: 25/5% off , 3€ off
  • Opening times

    • Tu, 10:00 - 22:00
    • We, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Th, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Fr, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Sa, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Su, 10:00 - 18:00
  • Accessibility

    • Side entrance
      • no steps
        at the staff entrance Weiskirchnerstrasse (Cobbled Street)
    • Elevator available
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Comments

      Elevator to the exhibition rooms.

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