Modern Concert Hall Show Contemporary Architecture At His Best

The Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, Germany is one of the largest and most acoustically advanced concert halls in the world. The Elbphilharmonie is located in the historic Sandtorhafen, which was Hamburg’s old working harbor for centuries. The concert hall has been designed by Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron and took over 10-years to built. Construction work officially ended on 31 October 2016 at a cost of €789 million.

Credit: Oliver Heissner

The Elbphilharmonie with its impressive glass facade and wave-like rooftop rises up from the former Kaispeicher building, Hamburg’s biggest warehouse on the water. Cocoa, tobacco, and tea were stored here until the 1990s.

Credit: Oliver Heissner

At a height of 37 meters above ground level, the public viewing area offers visitors a spectacular 360° view of the city and harbor. Hamburg citizens, tourists, concertgoers and hotel guests are all welcome to take a stroll along this unique walkway.

The defining feature of the Elbphilharmonie: 1,000 curved window panels, tailor-made to capture and reflect the color of the sky, the sun’s rays, the water and the city, turn the concert hall into a gigantic crystal. The glass facades in the loggias of the apartments and concert foyers are especially striking: with their boldly convex form, they resemble huge tuning forks.

The Grand Hall, the heart of the Elbphilharmonie, has seating for 2,100 guests. Herzog and De Meuron worked with famed acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, who created an optimal sound map for the auditorium. Over 10,000 unique acoustic panels have been installed, each with a unique shape and pattern, mapped to clear aesthetic and acoustic specifications.

Accommodated inside are two concert halls, a 250-room hotel, and 45 waterfront residential apartments.

The official opening concert took place on 11th January 2017 with a performance by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under the direction of Thomas Hengelbrock. The first musical selection was “Pan” from Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid.

Credit: Oliver Heissner

Credit: Oliver Heissner

Credit: Oliver Heissner

Credit: Oliver Heissner

Credit: Oliver Heissner

Credit: Oliver Heissner

Credit: Oliver Heissner

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