Peter Behrens – German Architect and Designer – (1868-1940)


Peter Behrens was a German architect and designer, is one of the most influential 20th-century designers, he is viewed as the founder of modern objective industrial architecture and modern industrial design.

At the beginning of the century, he brought forth outstanding works in painting, architecture, graphic design and industrial design, which exerted a paramount influence in all these various fields, opening up uncharted territory for the generations to come (including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius) in earlier stages of their careers.

Info source: en.wikipedia.org


Born in Hamburg in 1868, from 1890 he worked as a painter and graphic artist in Munich, where he joined the Jugendstil movement. In 1893 he was a founding member of the Munich Secession. He produced woodcuts, coloured illustrations, designs for book bindings and crafts objects entirely shaped by the Jugendstil formal language.

Info source: www.behrens-peter.com

He was one of the leaders of architectural reform at the turn of the century and was a major designer of factories and office buildings in brick, steel and glass.

Info source: en.wikipedia.org

In addition to architecture (housing for working men and their families), Behrens also designed household electrical appliances, standardizing the forms of their components and thus making them interchangeable, which rationalized production.

In 1898 Peter Behrens collaborated on designing the Berlin journal “Pan” and produced his first furniture designs.

Info source: www.behrens-peter.com

Emil Rathenau's A.E.G.
Emil Rathenau’s A.E.G., 1906, P. Behrens

Image source: www.spazioldo.com

Peter Behrens was one of the most important forerunners of Modernism and Functionalism, as much as fellow contemporary designers, architects and painters Henri van de Velde, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Josef Hoffmann or Gustav Klimt and Mies van der Rohe.

What are the major works of Peter Behrens?
  • Behrens House, Darmstadt, Germany, 1899;
  • AEG Turbine Factory Berlin, Germany, 1909;
  • AEG Factory, Berlin, Germany, 1910;
  • Office building of the Hoechst AG, Frankfurt,Germany, 1920-1925;
  • Winarsky-Hof (with J. Frank, J. Hoffmann, O. Strnad, Wlach), Vienna, Austria, 1924;
  • Franz-Domes-Hof, Vienna, Austria, 1928;
  • Tobacco Factory. Linz, Austria, 1929-1935 (with A. Popp).

Info source: www.senses-artnouveau.com

House Behrens
Behrens House, 1899, P. Behrens

Image source: de.wikipedia.org

For more references, please also visit: www.jbdesign.it/idesignpro

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