The Ellington Hotel, Nurnberger Strasse, Berlin, Germany

Richard Bielenberg and Josef Moser
Date Built
1928 - 1931
Nürnberger Straße 50-55, Berlin
Today the Ellington Hotel building features what their website describes as, "The longest, most eye-catching and perhaps one of the most attractive façades in Berlin.  Above the continuous shop storey, long square-headed rows of windows which illuminate the four upper storeys. The walls are clad in lavish travertine, framed by narrow strips of dark bricks above and below windows with their pronounced profiles. The 185 metre long façade, built in several construction phases and therefore not fully uniform, is divided up by external staircase towers and bay windows. The rows of windows nestle around their rounded corners, making the elegant façade appear very dynamic. The two external staircase towers protrude above the eaves moulding of the flat roof."

The building that is now home to the Ellington Hotel has a long and distinguished history in Berlin's cutural scene.  In its time it has been known as; "The Haus Nürnberg", the “Tauentzien Palace” and the “Femina Palace”.  The Ellington's web site says of the building's early history that, "In 1932, the Deutsche Bauhütte magazine called the Femina Palace a “capital tourist attraction” and the German architectural society presented it as the “newest entertainment locale in Berlin”."  In the 1930s the upper floors were used as offices but at ground level there was a two-storey ballroom, with a capacity of 2,000, featuring two "massive" bars.  A "Grand Café" was located in the basement below the ballroom.

The facade survived the bombing during WWII but the rest of the building suffered extensive damage including the ballroom.  In the post-war period the restored building was an important venue in Berlin's music scene. Among those performing there were Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Dizzie Gillespie.  Then in the 1970s it became the home of "Dschungel" a night club popular with the likes of Frank Zappa, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Prince and Boy George.

Today the 285 room Ellington Hotel occupies this listed building.