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
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Historical period: Weimar Republic (Germany)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Malcolm See (10 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.
Mayank Sheth (13 months ago)
Chilehaus is a home to some amazing cafes and the most famous thing, it's design. From one angle on a 3 crossing road one can see the triangle shaped building. It's so pointy! During day time one gets to see the the colours of the building but at night time, you get to see the wonder! With lights all around the borders of the building you just can't stop clicking pictures.
Dareer Bin Khalid (14 months ago)
It's a building which is of a shape of a boat. If you are into architecture then you should visit. It's better in night.
Philip Morkel (14 months ago)
Wonderful architecture and a real icon in Hamburg. Worth a visit every few months just look at in awe.
Amit Narwekar (15 months ago)
Impressive building with an interesting history. Worth a quick visit.
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