The Frankfurt Kitchen


The Frankfurt Kitchen is a compact and well organized fitted kitchen. It was developed in the twenties by the architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. As standard kitchen for the housing estates of »New Frankfurt«planned under City Planning Officer Ernst May, it is virtually the predecessor of the fitted kitchen.

With its ca. 7 square metres (75 square feet) the Frankfurt Kitchen was designed to help working women and free them from monotonous housework. The small space available for the installation of the kitchen ruled out any use of the kitchen furniture then conventional. Not only were all furniture and storage spaces newly designed, but a special light beam was so conceived that the person working in the kitchen never threw a shadow.

The concept took into account in-depth studies on so-called step and reaching economy as basis for kitchen planning. The Frankfurt Kitchen is traditionally connected to the living room by a sliding door.

Thanks to the small, flexibly fitted kitchen it was possible to significantly reduce the building volume of new housing estates. In this way costs for housing construction could be cut substantially. Therefore the Frankfurt Kitchen offered two benefits:
Making work easier for the occupants hand-in-hand with lowering building costs. It lived up to the requirements then prevailing for stylizing, rationalizing and standardizing the design and production processes. After the erection of the housing estate buildings the Frankfurt Kitchen was installed in all dwellings. The costs for the fitted kitchen were apportioned in the rent.