With its striking “ship’s prow” capping its eastern tip and its sveltely curving southern side, the Chilehaus is probably one of Hamburg’s most famous buildings and an exceptional example of Brick Expressionism. Fritz Höger designed this mercantile office block between 1922 and 1924 for Henry Brarens Sloman, who had made his fortune above all by trading saltpetre from Chile. Mounted on the tip of the building is an Andean condor, the heraldic emblem of Chile. The ten-storey building is distinguished by the complex clinker brick bonds decorating the façade and sculptural elements made by Richard Kuöhl.
Bild: © Staatsarchiv Hamburg / Sabine Ganczarsky
The Chilehaus was one of the first multi-storey buildings to be built in Germany. The original entrance halls, staircases and connecting corridors within the complex have been preserved. Built during the period of hyperinflation at the beginning of the Weimar Republic, this Kontorhaus symbolised the urgent hopes of economic revival after World War I and the international trend during the 1920s of converting inner-city areas where people had formerly lived and worked into purely commercial districts.