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Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky
© Pressefoto Votava

"I am not a 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.

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 Vienna
  • Vienna City Card

    • Your benefit with the Vienna City Card: -21%

      Additional information on the offer: Standard ticket price: 14€ 5% off at MAK Design Shop

  • Opening times

    • Tu, 10:00 - 21:00
    • 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
    • Open on public holidays (also on Mondays)

  • Accessibility

    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Comments

      Elevator to the exhibition rooms.

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