Built in 1910 AEG Turbine Factory is the key work and the construction of the best-known industrial architecture of Berlin and Germany.

The original factory belonged to the Ludwig Loewe & Co. AG, with August Thyssen and the Thomson Houston Electric Company in 1892, when the Union-Elektricitäts Society (LEL) was founded. The objective of the company was to compete in the growing electrical industry, and use the factory to produce mostly electric trams. But soon the LEL fell into economic difficulties and the General Electrics Society (AEG) bought the company in 1904.

AEG had the turbine halls built. Peter Behrens built a rectangular-plan 124-metre-long factory hall on the first historic forms and looked after their own moulds for the industrial building. The construction of the hall with a 25-meter-high main nave calculated and planned the civil engineer Charles Bernhard.

The architects Jacob Schallenberger and Paul Schmidt extended the hall in 1939 to the North 247 meters. The plant is now one of the Siemens AG, which it operates a gas turbine plant. It is noteworthy that in this factory today the product is manufactured, for which the building was originally built.
In 1907, AEG (Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gessellschaft) retained Behrens as artistic consultant. He designed the entire corporate identity (logotype, product design, publicity, etc.) and for that he is considered the first industrial designer in history. Peter Behrens was never an employee for AEG, but worked in the capacity of artistic consultant. In 1910, Behrens designed the A.E.G. Turbine Factory. From 1907 to 1912, he had students and assistants, and among them were Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (a.k.a. Le Corbusier), Adolf Meyer, Jean Kramer and Walter Gropius (later to become the first director of the Bauhaus.) In 1922, he accepted an invitation to teach at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna.

Peter Behrens remained head of the Department of Architecture at the Prussian Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin. In 1936 Behrens was called from Vienna to conduct a Master class in architecture, in succession to Hans Poelzig, at the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin, reportedly with the specific approval of Hitler. Behrens became associated with Hitler's urbanistic dreams for Berlin with the commision for the new head quarters of the AEG on Albert Speer's famous planned north-south axis. Speer reported that his selection of Behrens for this commission was rejected by the powerful Alfred Rosenberg, but that his decision was supported by Hitler who admired Behrens's St. Petersburg Embassy. Behrens and the academy helped his cause by reporting to the Ministry that Behrens had early joined the then illegal Nazi party in Austria on May Day of 1934. The vast AEG building with its marshalled fenestrations and detailing, like the project of which it was a part, mercifully was not built. War ensued instead. Behrens, seeking refuge from the cold of his country estate, died in Berlin's Hotel Bristol on 27 February 1940.

Peter Behrens was a pioneer in everything he did in the first half of the 20th century and his ideas were spread around the world by his students, especially by Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. The creation of the concept of corporate identity had a direct influence in other post WWII companies such as Braun or MacDonald's.


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