Our aim in the first phase of this project is to give visibility to the female pioneers in architecture in Austria.
These were the questions we began our research with. The starting point is the lack of specific research on the first female architects in Austria.
It is our concern to review the history of women in architecture in Austria and to place it in the historical context in order to make these women visible and to broaden the general understanding and knowledge of the subject. The first phase of our research focuses on the female pioneers in architecture in Vienna from 1880 – 1938. Our mission is to establish basic knowledge about the first women who chose the profession of the architect. Through our research, we aim to contribute to the Austrian history of architecture and women and to show role models for the 21st century.
This new website was created to make the female pioneers in architecture visible to the public and to make our research easily accessible using modern technology.
In cooperation with the Architekturzentrum Az W Wien (Architecture Centre Vienna), the existing database of female architects of the Az W will be made available for editing and the missing women will be added in the course of the project.
Contact: Dr.in Monika Platzer, head of the collection.
Wednesday, 2 February 2022, 19:00.
The research was started in 2021 through the initiative of the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Club, then located in 1030 Vienna, Untere Weißgerberstraße 41 in the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Raum.
After the club moved and the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Zentrum (MSL Zentrum) was founded in the former apartment of architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky at 1050 Vienna, Franzensgasse 16/40, the MSL Zentrum is now the sponsor of the project.
Dipl.Ing.in, Architect, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Expert, Director of the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Zentrum, Founder of the MSL Club and the MSL Raum.
BSc., master student of architecture at TU Wien, working for the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Raum since 2017, currently for the MSL Zentrum.
Mag.a, long-time employee of Simon Wiesenthal, research associate on a research project for the Austrian Historical Commission, currently freelance contemporary historian.
Collaboration since December 2021
Art History student at the University of Vienna since March 2023
Architecture student at the TU Wien.
Collaboration from November 2021 until March 2022
Dipl.Ing.in Dr.techn.in, Architect, Architectural Researcher, Univ.Ass.Post-doc at the TU Wien Architecture and Spatial Planning.
Collaboration from March 2021 to January 2022
In the archives of the three Viennese architectural training institutions, systematic research was conducted on women who had begun or completed an architectural education up to 1938. The initial situation at the archives of the three education centres and the research situation in the archives were very different.
Archives of the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule (now the University of Applied Arts)
The Art Collection and Archive of the University of Applied Arts Vienna contains all class catalogues from 1868 onwards. This includes the Nationale enrolments forms, which were filled out by the students every school year, annual reports and graduation certificates issued from 1890 onwards (older certificates are not available in the KGS Archive).
Furthermore, digital media are available: The 4D database contains information on all individuals, with digitised data on teachers and students. The MuseumsPlus database contains information on the inventory of the collection, in form of descriptions and in some cases images.
Women could be admitted to the k. k. Kunstgewerbeschule since its foundation in 1868. Between 1873 and 1913, 56 women were enrolled in architecture programs. These were mainly concerned with decorative interior design such as embroidery and lace work. From 1913 to the 1937/38 school year, 93 women were registered. Of these, 40 graduated. From 1913, Josef Hoffmann and Heinrich Tessenow led architecture classes, and from 1914, Oskar Strnad as well. This differentiated the architecture classes and the teaching. Tessenow taught building construction for the first time in addition to the specialist class. In the Hoffmann class, training in the arts and crafts predominated, while in the Strnad class students were also interested in theatre and stage design. Therefore, only female students with an entry in the catalogue for architectural education, such as “interior design or house construction”, are included.
Additionally, there were 5 female students who completed or began an artistic education and then entered architecture or interior design or followed a further educational path and are known from literature, such as Ella Briggs-Baumfeld.
Archives of the former Technische Hochschule Wien (today Technische Universität Wien)
The following literature was fundamental for the archival research at the TU Wien (formerly known as ‘Technische Hochschule Wien’). Juliane Mikoletzky, Ute Georgeacopol-Winischhofer, Margit Pohl: “Dem Zuge der Zeit entsprechend …” Zur Geschichte des Frauenstudiums in Österreich am Beispiel der Technischen Universität Wien, WUV-Universitätsverlag Wien, 1997.
This book lists all women who enrolled for architectural studies at the TU Wien from 1919/20 to 1944/45. It contains short biographies of some of the women, while the rest are listed in the appendix in chronological and alphabetical order of the year of their enrolment. It also shows the ‘struggle’ for admission as a regular or non-degree student.
At the Technische Hochschule Wien, women were only able to study as full auditors from 07.04.1919. Women who aspired to study technology even before admission were Leonie Pilewska and Ella Briggs-Baumfeld, the latter of whom was one of the first guest students at the Building School of the TH Wien in 1916-1918. A total of 103 women were identified at the Technical University. 43 of them graduated with 2nd-level state exam. 15 of them graduated with 1st-level state exam. 5 of them were only non-degree students (Pilewska, Zimbler, Sparre, Ohmann, Duczynska), 5 of them graduated with a doctorate.
University Archives of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Here the archive management already created an inventory of all women who have ever studied at the university. Therefore, all female students could be queried digitally by year of study or class. In addition, there is a digital document for each woman who studied in architecture classes from 1920 to 1938, in which all archived materials on study information are compiled and scanned. This generally contained: the ‘Nationale’ (enrolment form), a study record sheet, furthermore scholarships, sometimes correspondence, sometimes the tasks of the design projects to be completed or the content of the diploma thesis, and upon graduation the certificate of qualification as an academically educated architect ‘Diplomarchitekt’.
Women were allowed to study at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1920 onwards. 16 women studied in master schools of architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna between 1920 and 1938. Of these, 8 graduated (5 even with good success). All of them studied in the 1930s.
Altogether, a total of 204 women were identified as having received an architectural education in Vienna in the period from 1913 to 1937/1938. Of these, 93 attended Kunstgewerbeschule, 103 Technische Hochschule and 16 Akademie der Bildenden Künste. These figures include women who studied only briefly as well as those who graduated. 8 women studied at more than one architectural training institution, and 5 even held two degrees in Vienna. A total of 5 women who enrolled before 1938 earned their doctorates between 1935 and 1947. 9 women were able to obtain a degree abroad.
Aleksic Gordana, Grete, geb. Weiss
Assim Tourgoud, Leyla
Babnigg, Helmtraut Hertha, geb. Jenkner
Bächler, Margaretha Rosa
Banki, Zsuszanna (Susanne)
Bettelheim, Franziska Margit
Blauensteiner, Waltraud, geb. Vogel
Bloch, Karola, geb. Piotrkowska
Briggs, Ella, geb. Baumfeld
Cargnelli, Anna Maria, geb. Mahler
Close,Lisl geb. Scheu
Coën, Slawa geb. Walewa
Döring, Hilda geb.Kuras
Drennig von Pietra Rossa, Klothilde
Eisler, Josefine geb. Kraus
Fingerlos, Margarete Antonia
Franken, Edith geb. Kruspl
Gad (Goldberg), Dora geb.Siegel
Geldwerth Rachela, Renate
Gomperz, geb. Stepnitz, Adele
Groag, Jacqueline geb. Blumberger
Hönig Jetty, rekte Chodorov
Katinka, Judith geb. Zweig
Koci, Ilse geb. Weschta
Krastanova, Theodora Iliewa
Kupsky, Friederike geb. Lüftner
Kutzbach, Irene geb. Hittaller
Manhardt, Ulrike geb. Grom-Rottmayer
Maier, Ines Viktoria
Metzger, Margarete, geb. Heimerich
Musel, Rosa Maria
Muthwill, Brigitte geb. Kundl
Nagel, Eugenie geb. Pillat
Neumann-Spallart, Erna geb. Beck
Niedermoser, Friederike, geb. Domnosil
Payer, Friede C.
Petter, Maria geb. Cerny
Pfann, Wilhelmine geb. Ohmann
Pietsch, Lucia geb. Rappos
Ploberger, Isabella geb. Hartl
Polanyi, Helene (Ilona) geb. Duczynska
Pongrátz, Elisabeth Mathilde geb. Porges
Prati vereh. Haerdtl, Maria Carmela
Regnier, Lionore, geb. Perin
Roset, Erika, geb. Nußbaum
Rotter-Ortner, Maria Anna
Sequenz, Ilse geb. Wildt
Skala, Lilia, geb. Sofer
Speyer, Katharina (Kitty)
Stern, Sophie Dorothea
Uhde v. Reichenbach, Karin
Weil Annie Luci
Zak, Margarete geb. Hoffmann
Ziegler, Hedwig geb. Prokesch
Zimbler, Liane, geb. Juliane Fischer