On the 11th and 12th January 2017, Hamburg will open the doors of its new cultural landmark. Located in the HafenCity, right next to the Speicherstadt, Hamburg’s first World Heritage Side, the Elbphilharmonie is built on the brick foundation of an old cocoa warehouse.
The dazzling glass facade of the Elbphilharmonie is unique. It consists of 1,100 individual panes, each measuring four to five metres wide and over three metres high. In the foyer area
they are even more than five metres in height. The windows themselves are a masterpiece of engineering. Most glass panes were separately shaped with millimetre precision at 600° C, then marked with small basalt grey reflective dots. This prevents the structure from heating up due to sunlight while at the same time it creates a special shimmering effect. To achieve an optimal effect the configuration of the dots is computer-calculated for each glass pane based on the respective mounting positions. The glass surface of the Elbphilharmonie covers 16,000 square metres, a size equivalent to two football fields, and was completed in January 2014.
The centerpiece of this modern building complex is a world-class concert hall with seating for 2,100 people. The acoustic concept was developed by one of the world’s leading experts on acoustics, Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics. He measured and tested the sound quality and its distribution on an exact 1:10 model of the Grand Hall. The ”white skin“ that covers the surface of the walls and ceilings in the Grand Hall is composed of approximately 10,000 sheets of gypsum fiber panels. In combination with an expansive reflector in the middle of the vaulted ceiling they project sound into every corner of the space, guaranteeing an optimal listening experience from each seat.
After opening its gates to the public, a great variety of concerts will be held annually in the auditoriums of the concert halls Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle. The majority of concerts will be presented by Hamburg-based orchestras, choirs and ensembles, while private concert promoters will add further international highlights. The ”Orchestra in Residence“ of the Elbphilharmonie is the NDR Symphony Orchestra with its chief conductor Thomas Hengelbrock.
The Elbphilharmonie houses – in addition to three concert halls – a hotel, 45 private apartments and the Plaza, a public viewing area with a 360° view of the city.
The Elbphilharmonie can also be experienced digitally on a new online platform. On the website you can go on a virtual tour of the concert hall and get a feeling for the building’s special location and unique architecture before the official opening in January 2017.Website