AEG Factory Berlin


AEG Factory Berlin has been part of the Tentative list of Germany.

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Ian Cade

UK - 06-Nov-17 -

AEG Factory Berlin (T) by Ian Cade

Quickly checking the bus route out to Tegel Airport I realised I would be heading toward this building which I have been wanting to visit for years.

Designed by Peter Behrens of the Deutscher Werkbund it shows the early moves towards modern industrial design. Behrens is renowned for being the mentor of three of the greatest architects of the twentieth century having trained Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, each of which has at least one WHS to their name.

For me there was a "Wow" moment at seeing the gabled end with the honeycomb AEG logo on it (also designed by Behrens), but I wouldn't be surprised to hear others could walk past without giving it a second look. Still for me this was enough to justify my brief diversion.

Perhaps the most notable thing about the structure is how long it is, stretching well off into the distance. There are thick concrete columns along this flank, reminiscent of a greek or egyptian temples, illustrating the contemporary taste for such buildings in the styles of neo-classicism and Art Nouveau. The most remarkable thing is that this length is mostly made of glass, a fully revolutionary undertaking at this time. The structure also enabled the interior to be free from columns, thus aiding its use for the building of large turbines.

It was interesting to draw the architectural family tree between earlier industrial buildings I had visited, such as the Derwent Valley Mills to the early Chicago school skyscrapers, through this massive glass and steel facade to the Fagus factory and onto the the glass curtain walls pioneered by Mies van der Rohe.

And this geeky bit of academic thinking is probably going to be the best you can get from an ad hoc visit like this, as the interior is not open to casual visitors and despite a walk around the perimeter I was never able to get a glimpse in, and it seems even groups of architects aren't able to charm their way inside either

So that is it really, if you are happy 'just' to look at a factory from the outside, then it is very simple to find your way there.

It is located here just a short stroll from the Turmstrasse/Beusselstrasse stop on the TXL bus to Tegel airport from Hauptbahnhof, additionally this short stroll will take you past a large number of good looking Turkish restaurants so chances of a good, cheap (portable) meal are high.

I genuinely found it an interesting and enlightening visit, but I am predisposed to enjoying such places, if you have 45 minutes to spare you can even do it with a layover between planes or trains.

Site 5: Experience 4

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AEG Factory Berlin
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1996 Removed from Tentative List

1993 Added to Tentative List

Unesco Website: AEG Factory Berlin

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