BEHRENS, Peter


BEHRENS, Peter
(1868-1940)
   Peter Behrens was instrumental in the architectural reform in Germany at the turn of the 20th century that led to a more modern form of architecture called the International style. In 1907, Behrens, together with 11 other architects and designers, formed the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation) to cultivate a link between the traditional Arts and Crafts Movement and modern mass production so that Germany could compete economically with England and the United States yet still champion the artistic ideal of individuality in design over standardization. Other architects of this movement included Henry van de Velde and Josef Hoffmann, both of whom worked in the Art Nouveau style.
   Known mainly for his construction of factories and office buildings, Behrens's most famous building is the AEG Turbine Factory, built in Berlin in 1910. Constructed of brick, glass, and steel, this spare building anticipates in its functional "factory" aesthetic the future work of Behrens's students and assistants, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Walter Gropius. Behrens had initially been hired as the artistic director for the company, responsible for crafting its "corporate identity." With this important building, however, he brought the "factory" aesthetic into the forefront of modern architecture.

Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. . 2008.

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  • peter — peter1 /pee teuhr/, v.i. peter out 1. to diminish gradually and stop; dwindle to nothing: The hot water always peters out in the middle of my shower. 2. to tire; exhaust (usually used as a past participle): I m petered out after that walk. [1805… …   Universalium

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