Franz Hillinger (1895–1973 · architect)

Hillinger was born in 1895 in Nagyvárad, Hungary. Barred from studying in his native country as the son of Jewish parents, he moved to Berlin in 1919 and enrolled in architecture at the city’s technical university. In 1924, Hillinger was appointed head of the design office at the GEHAG housing association. He worked closely with GEHAG's chief architect, Bruno Taut, and was a key designer of the Carl Legien estate. Most likely, he was deeply involved in the design of the housing company's mass-produced components. These included idiosyncratic window, entrance and staircase details, as well as the model kitchen created around 1926 for the Onkel-Toms-Hütte residential estate. In 1933, the left-leaning GEHAG aligned with Nazi policies and Hillinger was forced to give up his position. He then focused on designs for private clients. In 1937, Hillinger emigrated to Turkey, as had Martin Wagner and Bruno Taut before him, and worked under Kemal Atatürk's reform-minded government as a designing architect for the culture ministry and as a university lecturer. From 1940 to 1943 he headed the architecture school in Ankara. In the early 1950s, Hillinger emigrated with his family to the United States, where he died in New York in 1973.