Architecture of the Speicherstadt Hamburg

Learn more about the distinctive architecture of the warehouse district.

Block D (13 August 2004) by ELBE&FLUT / Thomas HampelSpeicherstadt und Kontorhausviertel mit Chilehaus

Architecture 1

Each oxidised copper gable, with its old cargo cranes, points to the days when the waterways were crowded with barges that were on their way to the various warehouses to deliver goods for storage.

Cross section of the Speicherstadt (1888) by Büro Franz Andreas MeyerSpeicherstadt und Kontorhausviertel mit Chilehaus

Architecture 2

The creation of the whole area took place in 3 phases and comprises 15 storage blocks and six adjoining buildings. The entire storage complex was built on a 1.1-km-long group of islands in the Elbe.

Architecture 3

The architecture is characterised by one essential feature, which makes it appear uniform despite its size of around 300,000 sqm: namely, the red brick, which is often referred to as typical Hanseatic

Block E, gable (13 August 2004) by ELBE&FLUT / Thomas HampelSpeicherstadt und Kontorhausviertel mit Chilehaus

The neo-Gothic forms and design elements on the facades are typical for the ‘Hannover School’. Including numerous oriels that hover over the canals, the decorative gables and sandstone ornaments.

Architecture 5

Many storehouses still have the old cables extending from the gables. Originally they were used to unload the small cargo ships, so-called barges. The cranes moved the loads directly into the storage.

The floors were different in their construction depending on the type of goods that were stored. This means there is no fixed ceiling height or diameter for a warehouse or its floor areas.

Architecture 7

The Warehouse District is traversed by 6 man-made canals which surround the foundations. It is a special kind of substructure: the world’s largest warehouse complex stands on over 3 million oak piles.

Architecture 8

The storage area was also the first district to be fully electrified. The boiler house, built during 1886/87, still known by this name today, supplied the power station with electricity at that time.

Panorama of St.-Annen-Platz (22 June 2004) by Thomas HampelSpeicherstadt und Kontorhausviertel mit Chilehaus

Architecture 9

The Warehouse District was, and remains, an architecturally important area. Technology and materials are combined in an unique way, which results in truly functional maritime industrial architecture.

Credits: Story

Concept, text and creation: Rebecca Stehmann, Waterkant Touren

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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