1930 – 1932
Architect: Emil Fahrenkamp
Reichpietschufer 60, Berlin, Germany
The listed Shell-Haus was built from 1930 to 1932 as the headquarters of the Shell subsidiary Rhenania Ossag Mineralölwerke on the Landwehrkanal in Berlin according to plans by architect Emil Fahrenkamp.
The steel skeleton building, articulated by travertine cladding and asymmetrically divided windows with steel framing, has a facade on the Landwehr Canal that is offset by one window axis each and has rounded corners, with the building height rising from six to ten stories.
The facade resembles a wave movement due to the rounding of the windows and building corners as well as the connection of the individual building elements.
Remarkable is the novel construction, designed by civil engineer Gerhard Mensch, to ensure high stability and a vibration-free stand.
The shell house, which encloses an interior courtyard, is founded on a reinforced concrete trough extending to about 9 m below street level.
To absorb vibrations, the side walls of the tub are separated from the structural elements above by a 2 cm wide air slot, thus absorbing the vibrations generated by road traffic in the building.
The commercial building is accessed by three large staircases with elevators.
It has a two-story basement, with an underground garage in the first basement level. The upper floors contain variable-sized, predominantly single- and double-axis office space.
On the second floor there is a meeting room, and on the tenth floor there are the casino and kitchen rooms.
The flat roofs are accessible as terraces.
Heavily damaged during the war, especially on the upper floors, it was extensively renovated at the end of the 1990s.
The Shell-Haus is considered one of the most important examples of modern architecture of office buildings in the Weimar Republic.