All images © Thies Rätzke, Oliver Heissner and Johannes Arlt.
Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall has moved a step closer to completion after the application of its ‘white skin’ interiors. Designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de meuron, the venue is set to open on January 11, 2017. As part of the construction process, final work is still being carried out on the 6,000 square meter wall and ceiling cladding. This also involves the installation of the organ, which is currently underway.
After construction began in 2007, the project targeted an initial completion date of 2010. The scheme’s elevated 4,000 square meter plaza will open to the public in November 2016, with the concert hall to open two months later.
‘We are now well on schedule,’ commented Hamburg Senator for Culture Prof. Barbara Kisseler. ‘This has been the result of excellent collaboration between all stakeholders since the project was completely reorganised a good three years ago. While we will be able to enjoy the stunning sound in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in a little less than a year, it is clear even now that the Elbphilharmonie is establishing itself as an architectural jewel in Hamburg.’
Herzog & de meuron developed the specific surface structure of the walls and ceiling through extensive material research and numerous conceptual studies. The highly dense and extremely heavy engineered gypsum fiberboard panels reflect sound, which is then directed and scattered by the countless seashell-shaped milled depressions.
‘The dissemination of sound in a concert hall is decisive for the quality of acoustics,’ explains Jacques Herzog of Herzog & de meuron. ‘In order to achieve this, the geometry of the room, the materials used and the surface structure must be perfectly in tune. It is this particular structure and the seamless transition between the walls and the ceiling that lend the concert hall its somewhat natural characteristics.’
The architecture of the grand hall creates a spatial proximity between the audience and the artists, with a maximum distance of just 30 meters (98 feet). ‘The completion of the white skin once again confirms the uniqueness of the grand hall, which is the centerpiece of the Elbphilharmonie,’ adds general director Christoph Lieben-seutter. ‘The spatial impression is fantastic. The hall appears both intimate and generous, and its organic shape makes it an ideal place for great artistic performances.’