Behne studied in Berlin, first art history, later architecture. He was one of the members of the Chorin circle of friends and the Deutscher Werkbund. He campaigned for the painters of the Blaue Reiter and in 1913 led the visitors of the First German Autumn Salon of the exhibition.
In 1918 he was co-founder of the Labour Council for Arts in Berlin. Behne welcomed the architecture of Expressionism and stood up for the new architecture. He was close to the members of the Magdeburg Künstlervereinigung the ball and called for the creation of a new populist art and architecture.
Until his dismissal in 1933 he taught at the University of Berlin. From 1933 he was working as a writer in Germany. In the period 1945-1948 he was a professor at the State University of Fine Arts Berlin and belonged to the Society of Architects The ring on.
As an architect, he rarely came into existence.
His hometown Magdeburg named a street ( Behneweg ) after him.
- Return of the art. (written 1918, published 1921)
- From art to design. Workers' Youth Verlag, Berlin, 1925.
- The modern functional building. Three masks Verlag, Berlin 1926 - a reprint: Ullstein GmbH, Berlin West, 1964; Gebr. Verlag, Berlin, 1998.
- New housing - New Building. Hesse & Becker, Leipzig 1927.
- Berlin in pictures, pictures of Sasha Stone, edited by Adolf Behne. Verlag Dr. H. Epstein, Vienna and Leipzig in 1929. Statements online
- Degenerate Art. Carl Habel Verlagsbuchhandlung, Berlin, 1947.
- The modern functional building. Three masks Verlag, Berlin, 1926, Reprint: Ullsteinhaus Bauwelt foundations, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin, 1964, Reprint: Gebr Verlag, Berlin 1998
- An hour architecture. Stuttgart 1928; Reprint of Berlin 1984.
- Architectural criticism in time and beyond time: Texts 1913-1946. (Edited by Haila Ochs. ) Birkhäuser, Basel, Boston, Berlin, 1994.