Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Frankfurt Kitchen from the Ginnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, Germany 1926-1927

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 513 The David Geffen Wing

In the late 1920s, approximately ten thousand kitchens designed by Schütte-Lihotzky were at the core of a far-reaching program to modernize public housing and infrastructure in Frankfurt. Inflation and war had precipitated a housing crisis in all major German cities. Under the direction of chief city architect Ernst May, the so-called New Frankfurt became a testing ground for modern architectural forms, new materials, and innovative construction methods.

The Frankfurt Kitchen was designed like a laboratory or factory and in accordance with contemporary theories of efficiency, hygiene, and workflow. Schütte-Lihotzky’s primary goal was to reduce the burden of women’s labor in the home. In planning the design, she conducted detailed time-motion studies and interviews with housewives and women’s groups. Each kitchen came with a revolving stool, a gas stove, built-in storage, a foldaway ironing board, an adjustable ceiling light, and a removable garbage drawer. Labeled aluminum storage bins were provided for staples like sugar and rice, and they were designed with spouts for easy pouring. Careful thought was given to the choice of materials: oak was used for flour containers (to repel mealworms) and beech for cutting surfaces (to resist staining and knife marks). The result is one of modernism’s most famous cooking spaces.

Publication excerpt from From MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Medium
Various materials
Dimensions
8’9” x 12’10” x 6’10” (266.7 x 391.2 x 208.3 cm)
Credit
Gift of Joan R. Brewster in memory of her Husband George W.W. Brewster, by exchange and the Architecture & Design Purchase Fund
Object number
83.2009
Department
Architecture and Design

Installation views

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at digital@moma.org.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.