In school we covered this kitchen design briefly. I was captivated by its simple perfection, as well as the story of the woman who is responsible for it.
Grete Lihotzky (1987-2000) is known as the designer and architect of The Frankfurt Kitchen (above images). After her education (Vienna, during WWI) she worked to meet the need for better living conditions in Europe. In an effort to keep cost down, she simplified building techniques and design. The above kitchen system, the result of her efforts and research into human movement, was installed into 10,000 homes.
She later took part in a resistance effort during the Nazi era, was captured and imprisoned for the duration WWII.
“In post-World War I Germany, architect Grete Schütte-Lihotzky’s “Frankfurt Kitchen” was manufactured and installed in thousands of public-housing unit across Frankfurt am Main. Schütte-Lihotzky’s design took the kitchen out of hiding and into public light, showcasing smart, small, and ergonomic strategies for storage, appliances, and work areas.” Via Dwell
“Designed in 1926-27, Schütte-Lihotzky’s kitchen features thoughtful arrangement of storage, appliances, and work surfaces and is the precursor to the 1950s yellow and green kitchens and the kitchen as the hearth of the home.” Via Dwell
The Frankfurt Kitchen has now been reassembled at the New York Museum Of Modern Art and can be viewed through March 14, 2011