2007 - 2016

The Creation of the Elbphilharmonie 


From Vision to Reality

The wind and waves, the toots of the ships’ horns and the buzzing of the elevated trains, construction site noises and the squawking of the seagulls – this characterises Hamburg. The new monument Elbphilharmonie should blend into this beautiful scenery.
It was clear at the beginning of construction that the design would present some technological and engineering challenges.The building had to be completely gutted in such a way that the brick façade remained intact. The existing thousand steel-reinforced concrete piles of the old foundation were not sufficient to bear the 200,000 tonnes of the Elbphilharmonie. An additional 650 piles were driven 15 metres into the silt riverbed of the Elbe.
A foundation for 200,000 tonnes of culture
At the beginning of construction, the Kaispeicher, a warehouse was gutted completely; only the outside brick façade remained. An additional 650 steel -reinforced concrete piles were added to the foundation’s1,111 to support the further weight of the 200,000 tonnes Elbphilharmonie. This foundation houses the Elbphilharmonie entrance area including the escalator. The car park as well as the backstage rooms and the Kaistudio are also located in the foundation.

The removal of the old warehouse core (Kaispeicher)

The construction of the concert hall was a particular challenge. The heart of the Elbphilharmonie should bring live music within a close proximity.

Music becomes a total experience
The audience sitting in the stalls will almost feel like part of the action, others will be able to look directly at the conductor and observe his or her dialogue with the orchestra. The intimacy of the hall is increased by the steep rise of the balconies. The height from orchestra pit to ceiling is 30 metres, the width from one side of the hall to the other is only 40 metres. This brings the audience and musicians close to one another. This intimacy is reminiscent of a mixture between La Scala in Milan and the Philharmonie in Berlin.

The vision for the new concert hall in Hamburg: a hall for everybody. Based on this conception, first ideas for the architecture were formed.

Under Construction

The Lobby

The Construction site

The roof

The delievery of the mini »Tube«. The short one of the two escalators was brought in one piece. The only way to its final place was through the »Plaza«.

The glass façade of the Elbphilharmonie covers a total area of ​​16,000m². Approximately 2,200 glass panes were installed for this purpose.

2014 the last window element is put in. The complete facade is now closed and the interior fittings can begin.

The Reflector

An Organ you can touch
The organ in the Grand Hall also honours the idea of Elbphilharmonie as a »concert hall for everyone«: it does not hover somewhere high up and out of reach, but is built into the seats traversing three floors of the hall.

The installation of the organ

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
Credits: Story

© Elbphilharmonie

Photos: Oliver Heissner; Maxim Schulz; Gilda Fernandez-Wiencken

Videos: Hochtief VICon; Hamburg Marketing GmbH; neutral London; Hamburg Musik gGmbH

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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