Hamburg’s new Herzog & de Meuron-designed concert hall is poised to become city’s new landmark building, and a major cultural and architectural attraction.
Hamburg’s long anticipated new concert hall and cultural landmark, the Elbphilharmonie, is scheduled to open on January 11, 2017, it was announced by the Hamburg Senate. Preceding the inception of the concert hall, the building’s 120 feet high plaza, which will feature panoramic city views, will become accessible to the public as early as November 2016. With most major construction cranes gone, the stunning Herzog & de Meuron-designed Elbphilharmonie is now fully visible.
Set at the tip of the Sandtorhafen, the Elbphilharmonie is already the prominent center piece of Hamburg’s HafenCity, a former docklands area-turned fashionable waterfront district. Praised as an architectural and cultural highlight of epic proportions, the Elbphilharmonie ambitiously stretches out over the Elbe River like the bow of a gloriously illuminated ship. The glass façade on top of the solid brick foundation – a former cocoa warehouse – seems to be floating above the water. Even in its not-yet-finished state, the building is breath-taking and in 2014 some 30,000 toured the construction site.
The Elbphilharmonie’s Grand Hall will provide seating for 2,100 people. Resembling other major concert stages around the world, the Grand Hall was designed to place the orchestra and conductor in its very center, surrounded by steep terraced seating rows which allow for a close up and personal experience of the performance and orchestra. Responsible for optimal acoustics is one of the world’s leading specialists, Yasuhisa Toyota, who designed the hall’s special “white skin” surface, comprising of 10,000 gypsum fiber panels, as well as the 50-tonne reflector.
Orchestra in residence of the Elbphilharmonie will be the esteemed NDR Symphony Orchestra, one of the first major radio orchestras in Germany, founded right after WWII. Two smaller concert halls, a restaurant, a hotel as well as 45 luxury apartments will also be housed in the building.
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