Hamburg: Ballinhaus (Meßberghof)

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architekten: Hans und Oskar GersonBallinhaus, 1923-1924. Architekten: Hans und Oskar Gerson
Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Site plan of the area south of Steinstrasse with Chile- and Ballinhaus. From: Hamburg und seine Bauten 1918-1929. Hamburg 1929.

Site plan of the area south of Steinstrasse with Chile- and Ballinhaus. From: Hamburg und seine Bauten 1918–1929. Hamburg 1929.

View Ballinhaus 1929. From: Hamburg und seine Bauten 1918-1929. Hamburg 1929.

View Ballinhaus 1929. From: Hamburg und seine Bauten 1918–1929. Hamburg 1929.

1923 – 1924

Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Meßbergplatz 1, Hamburg

The listed Ballinhaus (Meßberghof) is one of the first buildings in Hamburg’s Kontorhaus district and was built between 1923 and 1924 as a reinforced concrete structure, faced with Bockhorn clinker bricks and designed by the brothers Hans and Oskar Gerson.

It comprises about 12,000 square meters of office space.

In contrast to the neigh­boring Chilehaus, the Ballinhaus impresses with its flat facade and compact building form.

However, Gothicizing elements typical of the period can also be found here, such as the crystalline decoration of the entrances and the monumental pilasters on the fronts.

The pilasters were origi­nally also decorated with sculp­tures by Ludwig Kunstmann and their arran­gement was reminiscent of medieval church facades.

The building is named after the Hamburg shipowner Albert Ballin. Because of his Jewish origin, the Ballinhaus was forcibly renamed Meßberghof in 1938.

The grotesques made of shell limestone on the facade were created by Ludwig Kunstmann.

Other sculp­tures on the pilasters had to be removed in 1968 because of their poor state of preser­vation. These were replaced by works by the sculptor Lothar Fischer.

The stair­cases in Hamburg’s office buildings had a primarily repre­sen­ta­tional function.

This is also the case in the Ballinhaus, where the staircase stretches openly upwards over ten floors and is parti­cu­larly magni­ficently designed.

A round skylight made of colored glass arranged in a star shape closes off the staircase.

A stone lizard sits on the handrail on each floor.

Door leaves and frames as well as stair rods are gilded with impact metal.

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923-1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

Ballinhaus, 1923–1924. Architects: Hans and Oskar Gerson

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