Elbe Philharmonic Hall

Hamburg Philharmonic Hall : The architecture

In the guise of the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall, Hamburg is acquiring a new and impressive concert house, one that seems destined to house one of the world's ten best concert halls. This should be an outstanding location for performing classical music as well as jazz, world music and pop music. The Hamburg Philharmonic Hall will become a new landmark for the city and, at the same time, a place for everyone. The new building complex on the western tip of HafenCity will comprise three concert halls, a hotel with an international conference area, apartments, a plaza at a height of 37 meters, a wellness area and a large number of parking spaces in the Warehouse A. The complex was based on designs by the renowned Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.

The Hamburg Philharmonic Hall will be a landmark straddling the river Elbe. In the West you could say it projects into the Elbe, forming a link between the city and the port. Similarly, the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall is to have a major function for HafenCity. In conjunction with the “Hamburg International Maritime Museum” and the planned cultural facilities in the Überseequartier (Overseas Quarter), Hamburg Philharmonic Hall will be the cultural heart of HafenCity and will help to further invigorate the largest inner city development area in Europe.

The building’s sensational design is the work of Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. It combines a classic brick style with the daring sweep of the glass facades and a dramatic undulating roof. It is this interplay of two very different architectures that accounts for the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall’s unique impact: the archaic looking Warehouse A, designed by Werner Kallmorgen and inspired by the port – a monument to the industrial architecture of the 1960s – and the festive elegance of the Philharmonic Hall. Between these two contrasting buildings lies a freely accessible plaza from which you can enjoy an amazing view out over the city and the port. The Hamburg Philharmonic H all will have boast three concert halls. The large concert hall in the upper section will number amongst the world’s best. 47 apartments will be built on the West side of the building. On the East side – facing HafenCity – a luxurious hotel with 250 rooms is planned.

The warehouse A
The warehouse A was designed by Werner Kallmorgen and built from 1963 to 1966. The old warehouse was used up to the 1990s to store commodities such as cocoa, tee and coffee. The warehouse is also the architectural basis of the new Hamburg Philharmonic Hall. In its volume it is a trapezoidal cubic structure which tapers towards the west and reaches its greatest elegance at the most important urban design setting, the tip of the Kaiserhöft. The warehouse will mainly be used for car parking spaces, backstage facilities.

In addition to the three concert halls, the Plaza also forms the heart of the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall. It will resemble a market place where concert-goers and casual passers-by, residents of Hamburg and tourists can meet. The outdoor terraces offer a unique panorama with views of the city centre to the North, HafenCity to the East, and the Elbe and the harbour to the South and West. There is hardly anywhere else in Hamburg where the relationship between the city and the harbour can be seen in such an impressive way. The interior of the Plaza is dominated by the curved ceiling with its varying geometrical shape. It affords spectacular views of the city and the harbour. Deep recesses are cut into the building above the Plaza, offering varied views between the Plaza and the different levels of the foyer. On the Plaza itself, there are a number of restaurants and bars, and also the entrances to Seite 2 von 3 the hotel lobby and the residential complex. Sculptural staircases lead to the foyers of the Philharmonic Halls.

images © José Campos josecamposmoreira(at)gmail.com

Large auditorium to accommodate about 2150 visitors
The Hamburg Philharmonic Hall aims to be one of the best concert halls in the world. It will be an outstanding venue for classical music, as well as jazz, world music and Pop. The large concert auditorium, with approx. 2,150 seats, will take pride of place in the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall. It does not follow the orthogonal concept of a so-called shoebox stage. The orchestra and conductor are situated in the centre and the audience seating sections rise up in interlocking irregular terraces to form a steep-sided cauldron. Light is reflected from the bright surfaces. The reflector in the sharply pointed ceiling is a striking feature. It ensures outstanding acoustics and is also part of the lighting system.

Elbphilharmonie proposed building - views by Herzog and de Meuron:
This auditorium, with its flexible stage system and seating, is suitable for both chamber music and a variety of other uses.

Third auditorium for about 170 visitors
The third hall, the Kaistudio, is located inside the Warehouse A. It will serve as a venue for contemporary and experimental music, as well as a rehearsal room for orchestras and choirs.

The Hamburg Philharmonic Hall will be more than just a concert hall – it will form an entire residential and cultural complex. In the West, the residential section towers up to as high as 110 meters above the Elbe. The apartments offer impressive views out over the city and the port, and have a separate entrance. Plans foresee a hotel with conference facilities on the East side – in at least the 5- star category. The spectacular highpoint: a stroll in the wavy roof area. The hotel rooms offer a view out over HafenCity. The plaza is a freely accessible zone 37 meters above the ground. It is positioned like a radiant joint between Warehouse and the new building. The idea: to create a new meeting point for all Hamburg residents and the city’s visitors. The Warehouse itself will primarily be used as a carpark for some 510 vehicles. Next to it there will be high-end uses, an education area, additional backstage, wellness facilities and hospitality.

The Architects
The design for the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall was created by architects Herzog & de Meuron, who have joined forces with Höhler + Partner to act as general planners. Herzog & de Meuron are among the world’s most renowned architectural offices. Their famed portfolio includes the Tate Modern in London, the Allianz Arena in Munich, and the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The National Stadium for the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing was again designed by Herzog & de Meuron. In 2001, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the architectural equivalent of a Nobel prize.



24 photos

Building Activity

  • Josh Siegle
    Josh Siegle updated
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated 5 media and updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • Kiril Pavlov
    Kiril Pavlov updated 88 media and updated 3 digital references
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator