|Peter Behrens - Germany|
Peter Behrens (14.04.1868-27.02.1940) was educated as a painter at the Art Academy Karlsruhe and became a pioneer of functional architecture and industrial design
before the World War I. He is famous as one of the co-founders of the german Werkbund and for his work for the AEG company. Peter Behrens is considered to be one
of the first true industrial designer and the inventor of corporate design. For the AEG company he designed nearly everything from the sheet of writing paper to products such
as the electronic teakettle and the workshop buildings in a standardized style. His own architectural office is significant in the history of modern architecture, since many of the
later famous architects, such as Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, worked there at the same time.
Peter Behrens started to be involved in architecture, when he was invited to the artists colony Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt. When the colony was presented to the public
with an exhibition in 1901, the Behrens House was considered to be most convincing. Althoug some of the experts where not amused by the fact, that Behrens
was a pure self-taught person in architecture. In 1903 Peter Behrens left the artists colony in Darmstadt, where he was in opposition to the academic educated Joseph Maria Olbrich.
In 1903 Peter Behrens became director of the school of applied arts in Düsseldorf. In this function he was travalling a lot, visiting Vienna, Den Haag, London, Berlin, Munich,
Hamburg and many other german cities. In the year 1907, Behrens opened his own architectural office in Berlin. Already before, he had some commissions for interior and
exterior designs on buildings. So he was comissioned to design the interior of the auditorium of the Folkwang Museum in Hagen, which originally should have been designed
by Henry van de Velde as were the other parts of the building.
At the end of July 1907, Peter Behrens became the artistic advisory board of the AEG company, for which he had executed some minor desings already before. In the following
years, Peter Behrens was in charge of nearly every design for this company. His design work comprised graphic works such as advertisements, product designs of
household aids as well as workshop and administration Buildings. He not only made the preliminary designs for the AEG company sign, he influenced the complete
appearance of the company. His work for AEG ended in 1914.
In 1911 Peter Behrens designed the facade of the german embassy in St. Petersburg, which was praised especially in Germany for its monumentalism. In other countries,
such as France and Russia, it was criticised for its teutonic facade. In 1916, Peter Behrens took part in the Werkbund competition for the House of Friendship in Istanbul.
After the first world war, facing a bad economic situation, Peter Behrens sought to reduce the building expenses. In 1918 was published his essay about the economical
construction. In this writing he advocated standardisation and use of inexpensive construction materials.
In 1921, Peter Behrens was called to the Art Academy Düsseldorf. In 1922 he became NACHFOLGER of Otto Wagner as leader of the maser classes of architecture at the
Academy of Applied Arts Vienna, where he was director of the architectural department until 1927.
1910 - 1912 Frankfurt Gaswork Buildings - Frankfurt
1910 - 1912 Mannesmann Administrative Building - Düsseldorf
1929 - 1932 Office Buildings Alexanderplatz - Berlin