It was the family of ship owners A.C. de Freitas who commissioned the office building that was designed by the renowned architects Lundt & Kallmorgen from 1901 to 1902. Augusto Constantino de Freitas came to the Hanseatic city as a political emigrant and established a flourishing shipping company in a matter of years. Even back then, the building was to serve prestigious ambitions: with reliefs, friezes, capitals, and the flanking towers.
Two further building sections were completed in 1905 and 1921: In 1905, the architects enlarged the building on the side of Gertrudenstraße. In 1918, it was sold to the company Westfälische Kohlen-Kontor GmbH. In 1921, the architect Richard Kuöhl designed the recessed penthouse for the new owner, embellishing it with an impressive group of figures that measure four metres in height and represent “mining, trade, and industry”. The sculptures at the corner of Ballindamm/ Gertrudenstraße are a direct reference to the contractor and represent miners.