Friday, April 28, 2017

Frankfurt Kitchen 1920's

Hi Dear Folk,

This is from the V & A collection, and is a 1920's Frankfurt fitted kitchen, many of these designs can be seen again the the 1950's fitted kitchens and would not be out of place today.






Between 1925 and 1930, Frankfurt was a centre of advanced social and architectural thought and was the only German city where all municipal construction was controlled by modernist architects. This is one of perhaps 10,000 kitchens made to the designs of the Austrian architect Margarete (Grete) Schütte-Lihotzky, installed in flats in Frankfurt during the 1920s. Schütte-Lihotzky worked in the Municipal Building Department, which controlled all aspects of building in the city, including housing. The so-called Frankfurt Kitchen should be regarded as part of a modernist effort to make all aspects of daily life more rational, efficient and hygienic, and less time-consuming. It was the first fitted kitchen and the prototype for all subsequent built-in kitchens. In its day it was widely publicized in Germany and abroad, and a film was even made about it in 1928.

The design of the kitchen was based on the principles of F.W. Taylor's 'Scientific Management', a system that analysed the most efficient ways of undertaking tasks in the home and workplace. The kitchen was only big enough for the housewife to work alone (few men in the 1920s would have spent time there). All the surfaces are easy to clean and without mouldings that trap dirt. A noticeable feature is the bank of metal storage containers for commodities like flour, rice and sugar. The housewife could easily reach them without even opening a cupboard door. There were no electric refrigerators at the time, but a low-level cupboard was vented from the outside to keep food cool. The ironing board was hinged to the wall and could be lowered to use. Even the disposal of rubbish was considered: the waste-bin was in its own cupboard that could be emptied from outside the kitchen in the hall.
Three different sizes of kitchen were made for various sizes of flats. This kitchen was recently rescued from a Frankfurt apartment after almost eighty years of use. It had only been repainted once in that time, and is seen here restored to its original paint scheme. The electric and solid fuel stoves probably date from the late 1930s.
Christy

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