Lonely Planet Writer

Hamburg's new concert hall will captivate audiences with an innovative acoustically-designed space

An innovative and ultra-modern concert space designed by acoustic experts has opened in Hamburg, offering a unique and unforgettable experience to visitors.

Elbphilharmonie
The Grand Hall seats 2100 and features specially designed walls to carry sound. Image by Elbphilharmonie
Elbphilharmonie
The stunning building sits surrounded by water on three sides. Image by Elbphilharmonie
Elbphilharmonie
The foyer of the Grand Hall. Image by Elbphilharmonie

Built on the site of a former warehouse on the Elbe river and sitting with water on three sides, the Elbphilharmonie is a sleekly designed structure that blends the old with the new, featuring red brick and a large glass façade. Designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron , the building houses three large concert halls, a hotel, 45 private apartments and a 36-metre high public viewing area with a panoramic view of the city of Hamburg. The Grand Concert Hall at the heart of the Elbphilharmonie features 2100 seats, that are arranged around a centrally located stage modelled on traditional terraces. Designed as a primarily un-amplified performance space, no member of the audience is seated more than 30 metres from the conductor, making each concert a captivating experience for visitors.

Elbphilharmonie
The plaza offers guests a panoramic view of the surrounding city. Image by Elbphilharmonie
Elbphilharmonie
The specially designed walls of the Recital Hall. Image by Elbphilharmonie
Elbphilharmonie
The roof top terrace of the Elbphilharmonie.

In order to achieve the optimum acoustics, the architects developed a special wall and roof structure in collaboration with renowned acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota. Ten thousand individually-shaped gypsum fibre panels, cut with millimetre precision, ensure targeted sound distribution that reaches every corner of the hall. The space also features an organ which was specially developed, with 4765 pipes that are located in, next to, and behind the audience seats.

Elbphilharmonie
A view of the Grand Concert Hall. Image by Elbphilharmonie
Elbphilharmonie
Acoustics expert Yasuhisa Toyota helped design the halls. Image by Elbphilharmonie
Elbphilharmonie
The design blends the old with the new, featuring red brick and a glass facade. Image by Elbphilharmonie

The upper part of the building also houses the Recital Hall, an intimate and versatile space that features shaped wood panelling for perfect acoustics. The space seats 550 people, and is aimed at hosting chamber music, lieder recitals and solo performances as well as jazz and world music concerts. Flexible seating means that the space can be used for a variety of purposes. The Elbphilharmonie also features a music education area with various rooms for workshops, teaching and practice. More information on visiting the Elbphilharmonie is available at the official website.

 
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