Soho House Berlin - History and Facts | History Hit

Soho House Berlin


Celeste Neill

11 Aug 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Soho House Berlin

The Grade II-listed building began life in the late 1920s as large department store which was later sold to the Reich Youth Leadership. It served as the organisation’s headquarters during the Second World War. Today it is part of the private members’ group, Soho House, and is both a hotel and event space.

History of Soho House Berlin

In 1928 two local entrepreneurs Hermann Golluber and Hugo Halle, decided to turn their small watch company, Jonass, into Berlin’s first large department store, known as ‘Kaufhaus Jonass’, which also offered credit to customers for the first time too. Designed by the architects Georg Bauer and Siegfried Friedlander, the building followed a new architecture style that put emphasis on a more practical and useful design ethos. When the National Socialist Party came to power in Germany the store’s Jewish owners were forced out and the new owners rented the building to Hitler’s Reich Youth Leadership, who used it for their headquarters during World War Two until 1945.

When East Berlin fell into control of the Soviet Union, the building became home to the Communist Party’s Central Committee (the SED), who ran the new socialist state from its offices. The SED were notorious for their strict surveillance of citizens and it is rumoured that the Stasi, the official state security service, were also based in the same offices. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the building was handed back to the original Jewish owners until it was sold to the Soho House Group.

Soho House Berlin today

Today the building is home to a large hotel, event space, members club and restaurant. The building retains some of the original ‘New Objectivity’ architecture style, with a number of original concrete walls and stark columns still in place. A dining room, called ‘The Politburo’, retains its original wood panelling, but the overall style of the hotel mainly harks back to the days when the building was used as a grand department store.

Getting to Soho House Berlin

Soho House Berlin is located in the popular Mitte district and is a short walk from Alexanderplatz. The Prenzlauer Allee public transport stop is located next to the hotel whilst subway stations Alexanderplatz and Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz are both a short walk away.

Featured In