Frau Architektin Margarete Schütte Lihotzky, geboren 1898, erhielt 1937 von der türkischen Regierung
eine Berufung zur Projektierung von Frauenberufsschulen und Dorfschulen. Von Istanbul fuhr sie 1940 als
Mitglied der dortigen österreichischen Widerstandsgruppe nach Wien, wurde von der Gestapo verhaftet
und zu 15 Jahren Zuchthaus verurteilt. Sie entging dem Todesurteil aufgrund ihrer Tätigkeit für die türkische
Regierung. 1945 wurde sie aus dem Zuchthaus Aichach befreit. Mit der "Frankfurter Küche" wurde sie schon
in den 20er Jahren berühmt, ihr gesamtes Oeuvre wurde allerdings erst 1993 anlässlich ihrer Ausstellung
im MAK ausführlich dokumentiert. 1984 veröffentlichte sie das Buch
"Erinnerungen aus dem Widerstand. 1938-1945."
Auszüge aus Gesprächen mit der Architektin Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky
über ihre Widerstandsarbeit im 2. Weltkrieg.
Das Gespräch führten Gabu Heindl und Martin Engelmeier
erschienen in: 71133/5 und pblattform BOKU-live Nr. 4/95 Mai 95
Download Interview, dt. / german
erschienen auch auf frauenweb.at
about life next to the friend, colleague and role-model Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky
Gabu Heindl, 2007
From 1995 to 1999 I was subrenting a small flat from Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, right next to her
own apartment in Franzensgasse 16, Vienna.
There was no coincidence about our neighbourhood: I was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in
Vienna, when I amongst others applied for that apartment which turned out to come with a beautiful
friendship with my 'idol architect'. Because of her never-stopping interest in architecture, Grete de-
liberately searched for a young female architecture student (which I was at the time). Not only would
I live next doors, but also read to her her mail or the papers, organise her library, join her to the cinema
or simply cook, when she was too tired to walk to the restaurants within 300 steps vicinity. (Due to her
bad eye condition, Margarete had memorised the paths in number of steps.)
During all of her life Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky had friends from all generations with me not being the
youngest. With the intention of sharing my luxury, I organised informal 'read-ins' in my apartment, with
20 student colleagues squeezed into my 30m2 apartment, in order to read and discuss architectural
topics with Schütte-Lihotzky. While her interest was in contemporary architecture, we focused on texts
about her career, which ended up in amazingly detailed stories about her work, her interaction with Adolf
Loos, Ernst May, Bruno Taut, Alvar Aalto, and many more.
But Grete was never only looking back: according to her principles there was no need to have huge
apartments, if one simply changes bedroom into livingroom every morning. Just like she always did in
her small apartment. When at the age close to 100 she could not handle it herself anymore she
continued the practise, having somebody else do it for her.
The older Grete became, the more public interest she got. I sometimes joined her to her countless
interview appointments. In 1998 a Swedish TV team wanted to film her while demonstrating her
"Frankfurt Kitchen" design in the 1:1 replica of the kitchen at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna.
When we arrived, the whole 'stage' of cameras, lights, staff was set up. However, the uninformed
TV-team had planned the story-line of Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky's 'tour' in her kitchen to start at
the opening to the living room and had blocked the actual entrance with TV equipment.
Grete was furious, since this was not the way the space was organised in terms of movement efficiency.
The result was that she made the people redo the whole set-up until she finally made her fulminant
entry into the kitchen from the 'right' door - which was from the corridor.
Gabu Heindl, 2007
content: (c) GABU Heindl Architektur 2008