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  • Elegant and casual

    Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg

    Architects: Herzog & de Meuron
    Text: Pálinkás Edit
    Photos: Iwan Baan

    Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg has opened after 16 years of planning and construction. It is now set to become a new centre of social, cultural and daily life for the people of Hamburg and for visitors from all over the world. Too often a new cultural centre appears to cater to the privileged few. In order to make the new philharmonic a genuinely public attraction, it is imperative to provide not only attractive architecture but also an attractive mix of urban uses. The building complex accommodates a philharmonic hall, a chamber music hall, restaurants, bars, a panorama terrace with views of Hamburg and the harbour, apartments, a hotel and parking facilities. These varied uses are combined in one building as they are in a city. The Kaispeicher A was constructed 1966 originally built to bear the weight of thousands of heavy bags of cocoa beans, it now lends its solid construction to supporting the new Philharmonic. The glass façade, consisting in part of curved panels, some of them carved open, transforms the new building, perched on top of the old one, into a gigantic, iridescent crystal, whose appearance keeps changing as it catches the reflections of the sky, the water and the city. The concert hall is comprised of 10,000 individual acoustic panels that line the walls, ceilings, railings and balconies. Each of the panels consists of one million “cells” of varying dimensions, created to help define the sound within the space.

    General Design: Herzog & de Meuron GmbH, H+P Planungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, Hochtief Solutions AG
    Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler, David Koch 
    Project Team: Jan-Christoph Lindert, Nicholas Lyons, Stefan Goeddertz , Christian Riemenschneider, Henning Severmann, Stephan Wedrich, Carsten Happel, Birgit Föllmer, Kai Zang, Peter Scherz, Jan Per Grosch 
    Electrical Engineering: Hochtief Solutions AG
    HVAC: Hochtief Solutions AG, Knott & Partner Ingenieure VDI, Müller + Partner, Braunschweig, C.A.T.S. Computer and Technology Service GmbH
    Structural Engineering: Hochtief Solutions AG, Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland (2005-13)
    Acoustics: Nagata Acoustics Inc.
    General Contractor: Adamanta Grundstücks-Vermietungsgesellschaft mbH & Co., Hochtief Solutions AG
    Client: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, Germany