Herzog & de Meuron completes Elbphilharmonie after a 7 year delay

The Elbphilharmonie with its impressive glass facade and wave-like rooftop rises up from the former Kaispeicher building;  on the western tip of the HafenCity. 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 defining feature of the Elbphilharmonie would be its  1,000 curved window panels, tailor-made to capture and reflect the colour of the sky, the sun’s rays, the water and the city, turn the concert hall into a gigantic crystal.

 completed in late 2016 by swizz architecture partnership HERZOG & DE MEURON the plaza had suffered several delays and took a 7 years span to complete from initial ground breaking. The completed complex is a misuse structure which would Accommodated inside;  two concert halls, a hotel and residential apartments. Between the old warehouse and the glass structure is the Plaza – a public viewing area that extends around the whole building.


The Elbphilharmonie has already become a landmark of the city of Hamburg and a beacon for all of Germany. It will vitalize the neighbourhood of the burgeoning HafenCity, ensuring that it is not merely a satellite of the venerable Hanseatic city but a new urban district in its own right.



Concertgoers can access the Grand Hall and Recital Hall foyers via stairs and lifts from the Elbphilharmonie Plaza. The Grand Hall foyer clearly defines the character of the Elbphilharmonie architecture with stairs that extend over several floors. The staircases encircle the concert hall spaciously, creating impressive light effects and providing spectacular views of the city, the river Elbe and the harbour from each foyer level.

Grand Hall Foyer


The vineyard style seating in the Grand Hall places audience members no further than 30 metres from the conductor, breaking down barriers between musicians and audience members. The interior feature a “white skin”  which covers the surface of the walls and ceilings in the Grand Hall is composed of approximately 10,000 sheets of gypsum fibre panels. With the help of an expansive reflector that is suspended from the middle of the vaulted ceiling, the panels project sound into every corner of the space – guaranteeing an optimal listening experience from each seat.



This space rises vertically almost like a tent and offers room for 2100 people to congregate for the enjoyment of making and listening to music, with an unprecedented emphasis on the interactive proximity between players and audience. The towering shape of the hall defines the static structure of the building volume and is echoed in the silhouette of the building as a whole. The complex geometry of the philharmonic hall unites organic flow with incisive, near static shape.



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


Elbphilharmonie Plaza

In contrast to the Grand Hall, the Recital Hall is designed in the classic shoebox style. An elegantly milled wooden panelling supplies a perfect acoustic. Both the Grand Hall and the Recital Hall of the Elbphilharmonie are acoustically autonomous spaces that are completely detached from the rest of the building.

Massive steel spring elements perfectly buffer the concrete shell of each respective hall from the outside world. No ships’ sirens will ever penetrate these spaces, and not even the sound of a loud trombone ensemble will escape to the outside.


Two celebratory opening concerts inaugurate the main concert hall, at the heart of the complex.





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