Shell Haus and its wave façade

photo Catherine Gras

One of my favourite buildings in Berlin, somewhat overlooked in guidebooks, but high on the list of books on Weimar Republic architecture.

The 1920s and the beginning of the following decade, just before the national socialist regime ended the republic, offer us some very fine examples of modernist architecture with a strong social content. I recommend you to look at my posts on Siemensstadt, Weissestadt … which are good examples.

Before I introduce you to the Shell Haus, here’s a picture of Weissestadt: large windows and a rounded shape. This is an exception in Weissestadt, on the contrary it is the main motif in the façade of the Shell Haus.

détail fenêtres, photo Catherine Gras

In contrast to these neighbourhoods I have described, Shell Haus is “only” a building, built in the very early 1930s. This building was built to house the headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell in Germany.

It has a wave façade, large windows and a stripped-down look: I think it looks great.

The building was damaged during the war, it has also been renovated several times, at great expense, the general structure fortunately remains as designed by architect, Emil Fahrenkamp.

Immediately after the war it became the headquarters of an electricity company, Bewag, and much later, in the early 2000s, the headquarters of Gasag, the municipal company responsible for the supply of gas in Berlin. For the past 10 years, its offices have been occupied by a ministry.

Where to find it: https://goo.gl/maps/KPbcfq1iRxKQY28u6

And to know more about this wonderful building, I recommand this website: https://vielfaltdermoderne.de/en/berlin-residential-complex-siemensstadt/

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