1930 – 1932
Architect: Emil Fahrenkamp
Reichpietschufer 60, Berlin
The Schell-Haus was built between 1930 and 1932 as the headquarters of the Schell subsidiary Rhenania Ossag Mineralölwerke from plans by Emil Fahrenkamp. The steel skeleton construction, which is divided by a travertine cladding and asymmetrically divided windows with steel framing, has a façade on the Landwehr Canal that protrudes around one window axis each with rounded corners, whereby the building height rises from six to ten floors. The façade resembles a wave movement due to the rounding of the windows and building corners and the connection of the individual building elements.
Remarkable is the novel construction, which was designed by the civil engineer Gerhard Mensch to ensure high stability and a vibration-free stand. The Shell House, which encloses an inner courtyard, is founded on a reinforced concrete tub that reaches down to about 9 m below street level. In order to absorb vibrations, the side walls of the tub are separated from the building components above by a 2 cm wide air slot, thus absorbing the vibrations in the building caused by road traffic.
The commercial building is accessed by three large staircases with elevators. It has a two-storey basement, with an underground car park on the first floor. The upper floors contain office space of variable size, mainly single- and double-axis. On the first floor there is a conference hall, on the tenth floor the casino and kitchen rooms are located. The flat roofs are accessible as a terrace. During the war, especially the upper floors were badly damaged, but at the end of the nineties it was extensively renovated. The Schell House is considered one of the most important examples of modern architecture among office buildings in the Weimar Republic.