AEG turbine factory

Architecture of high quality characterised the industrial history of Germany in the twentieth century and the acknowledged symbol of that quality is the Turbinenfabrik (turbine factory) in Huttenstrasse, Berlin, designed by Peter Behrens (1868-1940). Behrens was born in Hamburg, studied in various German cities, and in 1903 became director of the Kunstgewerberschule (school of applied arts) in Dusseldorf. From 1907 he gave advice on design to AEG (Allgemeine-Electricitats-Gesellschaft), the many-faceted electrical company founded in 1883 by Emil Rathenau (1838-1915). He was responsible for the corporate image of the company, expressed in its stationery and advertisements, and for the design of products, including clocks, ventilators and electric kettles. He was the architect of several AEG buildings in Berlin, but the most celebrated is the Turbinenfabrik of 1909, an assembly shop for the assembly of large turbines of the kind used in power stations, and for the machining of the component parts. AEG products made in the Turbinenfabrik are displayed in the Deutsches-Museum in Munich, and elsewhere. The building was originally 123 m long, 25 m high, and 25 m wide, but was lengthened to more than 200 m in 1939. It is constructed of steel, concrete and glass, and is particularly distinguished by the inward-inclined glazed areas between the steel uprights along its length, and by its façade, which bears the company logo and the inscription ‘Turbinenfabrik’. Architectural historians have debated and will debate whether the building was intended to be functional or monumental. None would doubt its quality. The young architect Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953) gave sound advice in 1914: ‘If you come to Berlin, don’t forget to look at the AEG turbine building by Peter Behrens. You just have to see it’.

AEG turbine factory
Huttenstraße 12-19
10553 Berlin
+49 (0) 30 - 250025 (Tourist Information)