AEG turbine factory in Berlin

AEG turbine factory in Berlin
AEG turbine factory in Berlin

The variety of types of buildings that have become benchmarks in contemporary architecture is vast. Here we have spoken to you on other occasions about magnificent buildings that are banks such as the Shanghai Bank headquarters by Norman Foster, private homes such as the Waterfall House by Lloyd Wright, museums like the Guggenheim in Bilbao, laboratories like the Salk Institute, office buildings like the Rockefeller Center, and many other varieties. Well, now we want to talk about the type of industrial construction.


Historic AEG Turbine Factory in Berlin

We mean the AEG Turbine Factory he built in Berlin the architect Peter Behrensbetween the years 1908 and 1909.

WhenBehrensreceived the commission, he only had to design a large warehouse that would house the enormous bridge cranes necessary for the manufacture of the brand's turbines. But the architect chose to turn the factory into a symbol, into an image of the great importance that AEG was acquiring and also to appeal to the enormous social value that industrial production had.

So he raised theTurbinenfabrikin two bodies. An enormous one, over 200 meters long and 25 meters high. A huge, absolutely diaphanous space. A gigantic ship 26 meters wide whose deck is supported by atri-articulated frame structure with lattice girders. Its vertical supports also serve to support the rails of the bridge cranes. A perfect work of architecture and engineering, capable of combining functionality, economy and symbol, in whose project Behrens resorted to the collaboration of the engineer Karl Bernhard.

But the grandiosity is not only based on the dimensions of the factory, it is also achieved with its external appearance. Inevitably it can be related to a church, and it is something that the architect provoked the idea, since he intended to build a temple to the industry.

Wisely combines the techniques and materials of the 20th century, such as concrete or large glass surfaces, with other elements that evoke the forms of the past. For example, the main facade has its own pediment with the name of the company, while the side facade refers to the peristyles of classical temples. And also here he created a part of the image that he later repeated in other buildings of the brand. And it is that we see how in the corners it plays with horizontal metal bands to give a little dynamism to the facade. Well, those bands would be repeated in later AEG constructions.

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