The Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall in Hamburg is one of the largest and advanced concert halls in the world. The Hall filled with the most amazing architectural masterpieces is the city’s newest landmark.
The building is a toned down version of the dream of a German architect Bruno Taut. He had made drawings of crystal halls atop mountains in the midst of absolute peace and beauty. Elphilhamonie, nicknamed Elphi, is a crystalline musical palace on top of a large warehouse on the Grasbrook peninsula near the Elbe River.
Located in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, the Elphi stands 110 meters tall, providing the most breathtaking view, with a lustrous wave-like facade. Visible from the center of the city, the glass structure is like a cloud on a cliff, as it is bigger than the brick warehouse at its base.
A subtly curved elevator will transport you from lobby to the inside of glass palace.
Between the concert hall and the warehouse, lies the ‘plaza.’ The plaza gives the citizens a glorious panoramic view of the city. A curved elevator drives you from the base of the lobby into the glass palace.
The real beauty of the Elbphilharmonie lies in its marvelous central auditorium which is considered to be the most acoustically advanced space ever built.
The auditorium that is both a bubble and a cave is built from 10,000 panels that are acoustically unique. Each of the 10,000 panels is individually crafted with parametric design.
Every panel is marvelous as it contains tiny shell-like structures. These structures help shape the sound as it travels around the auditorium. Each panel absorbs and reflects sound in its unique way.
Accentuated with 1,000 hand blown glass light bulbs, the auditorium has a capacity of 2150 people. Amazingly, none of the seats lies farther than 30 meters from the stage.
The company behind the stunning design of the panels is “One to One” that also worked in the Philharmonie de Paris. The founder Benjamin Koren got Yasuhisa Toyota on board for this incredible project. Toyota has been the chief acoustician for over 50 projects worldwide, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He crafted an optimal sound map for the proposed layout of the auditorium. Using Toyota’s layout, Koren developed the algorithm for the parametric design of the panels.
Marveling at the power of parametric design, Koren said,
“Once all of that is in place, I hit play, and it creates a million cells, all different and all based on these parameters. I have 100 percent control over setting up the algorithm, and then I have no more control.”
The most acoustically advanced music hall was not built overnight. It is a product of a 13-years of hard work. In addition to the expertise of One to One and Toyota, the Hall is a masterpiece of Swiss architecture. Made in collaboration with the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, the Philharmonic is a $843 million project.
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