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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Details

Founded: 1922-1924
Category:
Historical period: Weimar Republic (Germany)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ernesto Serrano (18 months ago)
Amazing architectural landmark, one of the many in Hamburg. Great spot for photography at night.
Borut Strlič (2 years ago)
Make sure to do a tour around this building, the “Flat-Iron” of Hamburg. You will be able to take some very nice photographs.
Andy Taylor (2 years ago)
Great architecture. The building was designed to look like a ship and it captures that effect. Lots of shops and bars in and around.
Dave Pearson (2 years ago)
Very interesting place to visit with some good eateries in the area
Divakar Reddy Maddhi (2 years ago)
One of the attractions in Hamburg and we can see this iconic structure and an amazing architecture while passing through the important shopping centre in the city and you can’t escape its view anyways...housing offices and shops in lower floors mainly is a thing to see from outside for its variety of design n exteriors apart from such huge in size...
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