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In pictures: Herzog & de Meuron's long-awaited Elbphilharmonie opens

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Herzog & de Meuron’s new concert hall in Hamburg has finally opened – more than seven years later than planned

ARCHITECT’S VIEWPROJECT DATA

The 125,512m2 Elbphilharmonie also cost more than ten times its original estimate finally coming in at £860 million.

The centrepiece of the building is a 2,100 seater concert hall with a height of 50m. Alongside this are a further two smaller auditoria, a café, a 244-room hotel, 45 private apartments, and a 4,000m2 public plaza giving views out across the city.

The 110m-tall building features a glassy block sitting astride an existing brick warehouse building which now houses the concert hall’s 500-space car park, the hotel’s spa and conference facilities, the music education space, and the backstage areas.

Made from more than 1,100 individual panels, the Elbphilharmonie’s glass facade has been curved to meet the demands of the particular building areas and contrast with the brick of the warehouse below. According to the architects ‘hatches resembling fish-gills characterise the hotel and foyer while horseshoe-shaped recesses, which look like tuning forks, form the balconies for the flats on the westernmost tip of the building’.

Elbphilharmonie by Herzog & de Meuron

Elbphilharmonie by Herzog & de Meuron

Source: Iwan Baan

Architect’s view

The Elbphilharmonie on the Kaispeicher A marks a location that most people in Hamburg know about but have never really experienced. In future it will become a new centre of social and cultural life for the people of Hamburg as well as visitors from all over the world.

The design for the new Elbphilharmonie is a project of the 21st century that would have been inconceivable before. The principle design idea of the Grand Hall as a space where orchestra and conductor are located in the centre of the audience, is a well-known typology. It is also not uncommon that the architecture is composed of an arrangement of tiers that take their cue from the logic of the acoustic and visual perception. But here this logic leads to another conclusion. The tiers are more pervasive; tiers, walls, and ceiling form a spatial unity. This space, rising vertically almost like a tent, is not determined by the architecture alone but by the 2.100 listeners and musicians who gather in order to make and listen to music. The towering shape of the hall defines the static structure of the entire building and is correspondingly reflected in the silhouette of the building as a whole. The Elbphilharmonie is a landmark visible from afar, lending an entirely new accent to the horizontally conceived city of Hamburg. 

Elbphilharmonie by Herzog & de Meuron

Elbphilharmonie by Herzog & de Meuron

Source: Iwan Baan

Project data

Location Hamburg
Type of project cultural
Architect Herzog & de Meuron
Developer Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg represented by ReGe Hamburg
Total cost £860 million
Area 125,512m2
Construction start April 2007
Shell completed November 2013
Façade completed January 2014
Building opened January 2017

Elbphilharmonie by Herzog & de Meuron

Elbphilharmonie by Herzog & de Meuron

Source: Michael Zapf

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