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Myra Warhaftig

1 of 3Vimeo: Myra Warhaftig by Ingo Kratisch

Myra Warhaftig was a German-Israeli architect, architectural historian and writer. She first studied architecture in Haifa, Palestine. After graduation, she worked in Paris in the office of Georges Candilis, Alexis Josic and Shadrach Woods, who among other things realized Rostlaube at the FU Berlin. She stayed in Berlin and worked for Hans Scharoun in the 1950s and 60s. In her first book, "Playing with the Housing Cubes" (1969), she presented her ideas about modular building. This was followed by research at the TU Berlin. With her dissertation titled "The obstruction of emancipation of women by the way of dwelling and the possibility of overcoming it" (1978) she initiated a discourse on the implementation of women's needs in housing. She participated in IBA Berlin 1987 and created a multi-family house on Warhaftig House - Block 2within IBA IBA Block 2, completed in 1992.

Warhaftig then moved into this building, to be able to personally test what she designed and experience how a space which was designed with the emancipation of women in mind, actually fits the women's needs.(she herself was a single mother of two), and lived there for the rest of her life.

In 2011, a memorial plaque in her honor was unveiled. It reads:

"Here, from 1993 to 2008, lived Myra Warhaftig (11.3.1930 - 4.3.2008), architect and architecture historian. This house was designed by her as part of the International Building Exhibition (IBA 1987), as a contribution to the realization of emancipatory living arrangements. With her work, Myra Warhaftig contributed to the memory of Jewish architects who were persecuted, deported and murdered after 1933."

She taught at the architectural department of the TU Berlin Housing, the University of Kassel and the University of Anhalt Dessau. She devoted herself to researching the life and work of German-speaking Jewish architects and founded the association of the same name with Hedwig Wingeler, Jutta Sartory, Günter Schlusche and others in Berlin.

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Sonja Dragovic, May 20th, 2020