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Homesthetics

100 Architects’ Houses Series: #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt

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“Everything that belongs to life must attain beauty.

The father of industrial design

Peter Behrens can definitely be considered a road opener in matters of industrial design and corporate identity. Born in Hamburg in 1868, Behrens was initially an art student, influenced and attracted by the work and teachings of William Morris.The 19th century was dominated by industrialism and functionalism.The industrial production became part of the everyday society and mass products were primary based on functionalist, with n aesthetics qualities in mind what so ever.It was considered irrelevant and non-profitable in the mass producing machine the modern society had become. Working for AEG as an artistic consultant, Behrens was the first one to create logos, advertising material, and company publications with a consistent, unified design.

100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt

100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt

100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt

His first architectural work came in 1901 and it was represented by his own house as part of the Artists’Colony at Alexandrawegg in Darmstadt.Constructed as a part of the exhibition, the single-family house is considered to be a “maniesto af art-nouveau.” The home was personally designed by Peter Behrens down to every little detail although he lived there for only two years.The exterior of the home seems a little bit conservative and internalized whilst the interior expresses besides the usual functionality of a home the actual life of its inhabitants.

100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt

The overall image resembles a medieval castle and the romantic reminiscence evokes that distant era. The design process was truly well thought: the facade expresses through the utilized materials and their color an texture the different functions sheltered inside: red brick cover the basement floor, expressing the service floor whereas the upper levels dedicated to the family are treated in a simple white restrictive way.

100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
The main entrance

Moving on to the interior arrangement of the house you can see a plan which is quite conventional organized.After you pass the entrance you reach a small hallway where the stairway resides and from which the day spaces evolve. The ground floor thus covers the musik zimmer, the zimmer der dame and the speisezimmer which represents the dinning-living room. Following up, the first floor plan offers the bedrooms, a bathroom and an open library furnished very carefully with organic curved shapes.Even the decorations of the walls. floors, ceilings, handles, chandeliers have been hand designed by Behrens, so the overall product is rich, elegant and controlled.

100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
Zimmer der dame
100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
The piano room

“In retrospect, much of this work now has the appearance of being derivative: the dining room furniture in particular is obviously close to the style of Henry van de Velde. The house is organized about a dining and music room on the raised ground floor, with a kitchen and ancilliary services in the basement, and the main bedrooms and studio space above. While this format was quite typical for a small burgeois house, its internal and external expression was unusual, particularly for its combination of features drawn from the English Arts and Crafts movement…with elements such as the high-pitched roof drawn from the German vernacular.”

— from Kenneth Frampton and Yukio Futagawa. Modern Architecture 1851-1945. p108.

Peter Behrens’s main arhitectural projects

100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
The AEG turbine factory
100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
The AEG turbine factory
100 Architects’ Houses Series #6. Peter Behrens and His 1901 Home in Mathildenhohe, Alexandraweg, Darmstadt
Houses in the Weissenhof development, Stuttgart
81 biraghi 12
Gustav Obenauer house

1905-06 Gustav Obenauer house, Saarbrucken

1908-09 Turbine factory for AEG, Berlin

1910 Housing for AEG workers, Hennigsdorf

1912 Gassworks, Frankfurt/Main

Offices for Mannesmann company, Dusseldorf

1915 Housing developments at Berlin-Lichtenberg and Berlin-Oberschoneweide

1920-24 Offices for Hoechster Farbwerke, FrankfurtoHochst

1921-25 HOAG steelworks, Oberhausen

1924-26 Residential block

1926-27 Houses in the Weissenhof development, Stuttgart

1930 Tobacco factory, Linz with A.Popp

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