History of Semmanshöfts pilot' house

The Seemannshöft pilots´house was built in 1914 and features an imposing signal and observation tower. It is situated on the Seemannshöft at the entrance to the Port of Hamburg.This is where the Hamburg Pilots´Association, and the ships´reporting service, the nautical headquarters of the port, as well as the measuring station for the city of Hamburg, are all housed – along with Hamburg Port Services GmbH, of course.

The Seemannshöft is the tip of a narrow peninsula in the north-west of the Hamburg district of Waltershof, between Köhlfleet, a navigable distributary of the Elbe, and the main stream of the river. The Seemannshöft beacon is situated right on the very tip of the peninsula.

The pilots´house was built during the westward expansion of the Port of Hamburg. It was designed by the building director and head of civil engineering, Fritz Schumacher, and constructed by the Hamburg Port Authority according to this plans. The building was intended to be an initial landmark of the city, creating an impressive entrance to the port. At the same time,it still had to provide the required space in order to ensure that pilotage service could operate around the clock.

The new building, which became a listed building of the Free and Hanseatic City of  Hamburg, was built entirely of bricks. Fritz Schumacher found the dark, grooved clinker bricks particularly appropriate, adding to the Port of Hamburg´s strong north German character. He believed that the pilots´house wa a true representation of this character, something which he had always identified with this style of building.