Herzog & De Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie

Herzog & De Meuron's ElbphilharmonieImage courtesy of Herzog & De Meuron

Herzog & De Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie

The Elbphilharmonie is the new Hamburg concert hall designed by Herzog & De Meuron. Located on the banks of the river Elbe, the building is supported by approximately 1,700 reinforced concrete piles. In total, the complex houses three world-class concert halls, a hotel, 45 private apartments, and “the plaza” – a public area with a panoramic views of the city. The largest concert hall is a 2,100-seat arena positioned at a height of 50 meters and decoupled from the remainder of the complex for sound-proofing reasons.

 

Herzog & De Meuron's ElbphilharmonieImage courtesy of Herzog & De Meuron

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The scheme involves a bold addition positioned atop a previously existing warehouse building. The striking glazed façade comprises 1,100 individual panes, each measuring four to five meters wide and over three meters high. Most glass panes were separately shaped with millimeter precision, then marked with small basalt grey reflective dots. This prevents the structure from overheating, while simultaneously creating a shimmering effect. The curvature of each pane depends on the particular area of the building.

 

Herzog & De Meuron's ElbphilharmonieImage courtesy of Herzog & De Meuron

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Even if the Elbphilharmonie will be inaugurated next year, “the plaza”, so the public viewing area positioned at the junction of old and new structures, will be accessible from November on. Internally, Herzog & De Meuron developed the specific surface structure of the walls and ceiling through extensive material research and numerous conceptual studies. The highly dense and extremely heavy engineered gypsum fiberboard panels reflect sound, which is then directed and scattered by the countless seashell-shaped milled depressions

 

Herzog & De Meuron's ElbphilharmonieImage courtesy of Herzog & De Meuron

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“The dissemination of sound in a concert hall is decisive for the quality of acoustics,” explains Jacques Herzog of Herzog & De Meuron. In order to achieve this, the geometry of the room, the materials used and the surface structure must be perfectly in tune. It is this particular structure and the seamless transition between the walls and the ceiling that lend the concert hall its somewhat natural characteristics.

 

more. herzogdemeuron.com

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