AEG Turbine Factory

The Turbine Factory for the Allgemeine Electricitats Gesellschaft (AEG) was completed in 1909 by Peter Behrens. AEG was the foremost electrical company in Germany, a pioneer in the development of electrical consumer devices and one of the first companies to develop a coherent brand identity. Behrens was also not just an architect, he was employed by AEG as an artistic consultant from 1907 onwards, aware of his work at the Darmstadt Artists Colony, where his synthesis of art and lifestyle embodied the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art") approach. For AEG he created posters, lamps, and furniture, as well as designing the companies logo.

The turbine hall is a seminal early modern work, a paean to the triumph of the machine age. Designed in collaboration with the structural engineer Karl Bernhard, the building is monumental. It is also perhaps the first example of a building actually intended as a corporate symbol. Situated at the edge of the factory complex, it signified AEG's aspirations, paring them down to a simple, Neo-classical form. Often referred to as a "temple of power", its form was defined by the processes which took place within- the progression of huge industrial turbines along an assembly line. The rhythm of the structural columns mimics the orders of classical architecture, pre-dating the modern movement's often shadowy and unachknowledged  relationship with formal arrangements.

 

Media

109 photos