House of Photography



The House of Photography at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg will undergo an extensive renovation and modernization starting in August 2021 for around 66.5 million euros. Not only will the damages to this more than 100-year-old listed building be repaired, but the exhibition venue will also be modernized to international standards for an expanded range of uses.

New spaces will be created for the F.C. Gundlach Collection and cultural education, and the southern hall of the Deichtorhallen with its bookstore and restaurant will be better integrated into the surrounding urban space.

The ambitious project is being realized and financed by the urban development company Sprinkenhof. The architectural firm Krekeler Architekten und Generalplaner (Brandenburg, Berlin, Braunschweig), which has previously worked on high-profile listed buildings, was commissioned for the project and developed the renovation concept in close coordination with Hamburg’s Historic Preservation Office. The renovation work is scheduled to begin in autumn, with a planned completion in summer 2025, in time for the 35th anniversary of the Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

With its early-20th-century industrial architecture, the Deichtorhallen as an ensemble is one of Hamburg’s most important architectural and technical achievements. After the renovation of the northern hall was successfully completed in 2015, the structure of the southern hall underwent an intensive examination, and a comprehensive renovation concept was developed in close coordination with the Historic
Preservation Office.

As part of the renovation, damage to the supporting structure will be repaired and the facades will be renewed. The building’s characteristic silhouette with its distinctive roof will remain, and the original filigree structure of the gable windows will be restored.

As part of the renovation, the building’s technical equipment will also be completely updated to meet the needs of the House of Photography as an internationally renowned exhibition venue. At the same time, the building will have entrances on all sides, thus connecting the city center with HafenCity and the Oberhafen creative district.

The foyer at the main entrance on the north side of the building will be redesigned, and the removal of the upper floor that currently exists there will once again reveal the full height of the space. The character of the impressive central exhibition hall will be retained as a spacious, flexibly usable area spanning over 800 square meters, and the space will be fully modernized.

In the future, this hall will also open toward the west facade with an entrance through which a new public space on the upper floor can be reached. A new space will be created here for the presentation of the F.C. Gundlach Collection, consisting of an exhibition space, an open storage space, and the F.C. Gundlach Library.

A new workshop area for cultural education will be created on the north side, housed in the previously unused restrooms of the former market halls with their unique architecture, which will be completely renovated for the first time. A new entrance to the office and administration areas on the upper floor will also be built here.

The layout of the bookstore and the restaurant will improved in order to underscore the integration of the Deichtorhallen with the surrounding urban space.

During the renovations, a “temporary House of Photography” will be built on the square outside the building, which will allow the program to continue with special formats and will also house the temporary offices of the Deichtorhallen. Photography exhibitions will also take place in the Hall for Contemporary Art and the Falckenberg Collection.

With international temporary exhibitions on photography and the important F.C. Gundlach Collection, the House of Photography is Hamburg’s premiere destination for photography. It features historical works from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries as well as young contemporary photographers.

Since its founding in 2003, the House of Photography has presented major monographic exhibitions by outstanding photographers – many of them new discoveries – in addition to young artists in group shows as well as exhibitions on aspects of the history of photography. The exhibition program also sheds new light on the genre of fashion photography with a variety of themes.

The House of Photography was conceived by Prof. F.C. Gundlach, who served as founding director and artistic director from 2003 to 2005. In 1999 he also initiated the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg. The photography festival takes place every three years throughout the city, and the main venue has traditionally been the House of Photography.

The House of Photography also includes the F.C. Gundlach Library, an auditorium, and a bookshop for photography and art.

Numerous solo, thematic, and group exhibitions have been presented in the House of Photography, including Martin Parr (2004), gute aussichten: New German Photography (since 2005), The Heartbeat of Fashion (2006), Lillian Bassman and Paul Himmel (2009), Paul Graham (2010), Nobuyoshi Araki (2010), Eyes on Paris: Paris in Photobooks (2011), Saul Leiter (2012), Albert Watson (2012), Guy Bourdin (2013), Harry Callahan (2013), Ute and Werner Mahler (2014), Sarah Moon (2016), and Alec Soth (2017).