Hamburg, Germany

The Chilehaus is a ten-story office building in Hamburg. It is an exceptional example of the 1920s Brick Expressionism style of architecture. The Chilehaus was designed by the architect Fritz Höger and built between 1922 and 1924. It was commissioned by the shipping magnate Henry B. Sloman, who made his fortune trading saltpeter from Chile, hence the name Chile House. The cost of construction is difficult to determine, as the Chile House was built during the period of hyperinflation that struck Germany during the early 1920s, but is estimated to have been more than 10 million reichsmark.

The Chilehaus building is famed for its top, which is reminiscent of a ship's prow, and the facades, which meet at a very sharp angle at the corner of the Pumpen- and Niedernstrasse. The best view of the building is from the east. Because of the accentuated vertical elements and the recessed upper stories, as well as the curved facade on the Pumpen street, the building has, despite its enormous size, a touch of lightness.

The building has a reinforced concrete structure and has been built with the use of 4.8 million dark Oldenburg bricks. The building is constructed on very difficult terrain, so to gain stability it was necessary to build on 16-meter-deep reinforced-concrete pilings.

The location's close vicinity to the Elbe River necessitated a specially sealed cellar, and heating equipment was constructed in a caisson that can float within the building, so the equipment can't be damaged in the event of flooding.

The sculptural elements in the staircases and on the facade were provided by the sculptor Richard Kuöhl.

The building hosts one of the few remaining working paternosters in the world.



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Founded: 1922-1924
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Germany
Historical period: Weimar Republic (Germany)


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nurgul Dereli (5 months ago)
According to sources, it is an exceptional example of the 1920s Brick Expressionism style. This expansive building occupies an area of ​​approximately 6,000 m² covering Fischertwiete Street in Hamburg. ?
Irina Kravchuk (8 months ago)
Beautiful famous brick building in the Kontorhaus District. A great example of Brick Expressionism style. It has a very nice inner courtyard. Located near the Speicherstadt. Nearby, there is one more beautiful brick building with inner courtyard - Sprinkenhof. As a part of the Kontorhaus District, it's a parrt of the UNESCO Heritage.
Dennis Smalley (King Buddah) (9 months ago)
This is simply an amazing piece of architecture. Built in 1922 it is one of the best examples in europe of the expressionist style. In the hallway the original listing of companies, over 250 in number is on display. There was no e try to the upper floors. The view of the building from street level sees the building resembling a huge ship. A very unique building.
muc JWT (10 months ago)
The neue stadt is basically all put together with the buildings of this style. Red brick building with nice shapes and sleek curves. Arkitecture is more art than science
Malcolm See (17 months ago)
Nice buildings to take in the views and reflect the architecture differences between the housing in various countries. Definitely hope to see more houses designed in such ways.
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