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

Philipp Sheiman (13 months ago)
This place is an absolute must-see if you are around. The beauty of this building is outstanding. In the summertime it's doors are open and you might have a possibility to see it from inside as well. A greate piece of architectural legacy. Also visit the 2 buildings around Chilehaus - Mohlenhof and Spinkenhof.
Mariano De los Rios (13 months ago)
Super nice arquitectural building. I was a bit confused at first about finding it but got to it. I would suggest better signals to know how to get in. There are a lot of restaurants around so taking a look when being there is not a bad idea.
Johanna Nevala (14 months ago)
Intresting House.
Peter Engkjær (14 months ago)
Impressive building and interesting architecture. Not much to do, other than look at the building, or maybe I missed something.
Fredrick Aviles (21 months ago)
We had initially (months ahead of time) booked the combi tour of the Welt and the museum but when we decided to cut our vacation down by a day, we did these two on our own. That worked out great, as we were able to spend as much time as we wanted and didn't have to stay with a group. The only thing we didn't get into was the Plant - which would have been our top choice but the tours were booked months in advance.
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