The Hamburg skyline has been getting a slow but dramatic makeover for the past decade. That’s how long the the Elbphilharmonie concert hall has been under construction, but come January they’ll be cutting the ribbon and throwing the first event in the new space.
The massive building is the work of world-famous Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, known for their attention to detail and innovative use of material.
First, the exterior: The form of the building was inspired by sports stadiums, ancient theaters and tents. Yes, camping tents. The geometry is all designed with acoustics at top of mind. The brick base is actually a warehouse from 1875 that was destroyed in WWII, restored, and extensively renovated yet again in preparation for this project. Now this historic port locale is experiencing a new life once more with the completion of this gorgeous anchor building.
The futuristic glazed facade on top is actually made up of 1,100 glass panes,
to millimeter precision,” and treated to prevent overheating.
The space that connects the old and the new is called the “plaza”, made from 250,000 custom-made clay bricks, and it will be opening this November to the public. From it you get panoramic views of the city.
The inside is just as impressive as the outside: the structure houses three concert halls, a 250-room hotel, and 45 private apartments. The grand hall’s seashell-pattern “white skin” wall treatment is the result of extensive research into materiality and acoustics, and is designed to optimize the sound and carry it to every seat in the house.