Kontorhaus Quarter, Hamburg

I visited Hamburg specifically to experience the famed Christmas markets in Germany.  There will be much more of that to come later this week. For now, I thought I would share one of my favorite corners of the city that we came across: Kontorhausviertel or "Kontorhaus Quarter". 

This tiny enclave in central Hamburg comprises a handful of office buildings built in the early 20th century. Famous landmarks such as the Chilehuas and Sprinkenhof epitomize the brick expressionist architecture of the period. The angular elements and geometric patterns integrate seamlessly and create beautiful textures across the building facades. The liberal use of dark-hued clinker bricks helps to pull back some of these intricate details to make them more subtle. 

Time permitting, make sure to visit at different times of the day. The buildings really come to life and change dramatically based on how the sun hits their facades. Also carve out some time to check out the various shops and cafes on the ground level. One of our favorites was Manufactum - a "do it all" German retailer stocked full of awesome houseware, accessories, toys and office supplies.