Behrens, Peter [key], 1868–1940, German architect, influential in Europe in the evolution of the modern architectural style. He established before World War I a predominantly utilitarian type of architecture that at the same time achieved qualities of clarity and impressiveness. His factory buildings were among the earliest European works to base a simple and effective style upon the frank terms of modern construction. Behrens is known also for residences, for workers' apartment houses in Vienna, and for his pioneering work in industrial design. Among his pupils were Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
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