Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Extremely Compact Frankfurt Kitchens of the 1920's

Original Frankfurt Kitchen
From wikipedia entry

It is my intent to stop eating Subway sandwiches and bring my lunch to work every day. This is a more complex endeavor than it sounds like, especially if you have grandiose visions of healthful, varied, delicious lunches that are well planned to eliminate waste and are prepared from scratch with fresh, local ingredients.

I am tired of preparing my lunch on a workbench. It is so unappetizing. Since my shop has two small restrooms, I am planning to reclaim the smallest and refashion it into an extremely compact kitchen. Of course, the challenge of designing a compact kitchen is as old as cooking itself and it seems the issue was succinctly answered in 1926 by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky.

Recreation of Frankfurt Kitchen at MAK Vienna
From wikipedia entry

In a stereotypical German approach, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky broke out the stopwatch and designed a very compact kitchen based on greatest work efficiency.
The cost savings resulting from the reduced size of the kitchen remained significant, however, so that the Frankfurt Kitchen offered the double advantage of lower construction costs and less work for the occupants. Only by arguing in these terms, was it possible to persuade the Frankfurt city council to agree to the installation of the kitchens, with all their sophisticated work-saving features. The result was that, from 1926 to 1930, no municipal apartment could be built without the Frankfurt Kitchen.

In this period around 10,000 apartments were built with the Frankfurt Kitchen.

Aluminum Bins for Staples
From wikipedia entry

Green materials are not enough. If you want to really limit impact, reduce scale.

D+R would be very interested in pointers to contemporary Frankfurt-style modular kitchen components.

Frankfurt Kitchen Recreation at MAK Vienna
Frankfurt Kitchen at Wikipedia