Hamburg’s huge new waterfront concert hall is ready to welcome its first visitors today (11.1.17)
It’s six years late but the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg is finally opening to the public. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron the finished building is an impressive sight on the Hamburg waterfront standing 110m tall and with 6,000 giant sequins on its roof.
One of many late and over budget building projects in Germany, the $876m cost, 10 times the original budget, has attracted protests and controversy. The concert hall and five-star hotel in shimmering glass on top of an old dock warehouse was meant to cost 180m euros and was initially scheduled to open in 2010.
Taking 9.5 years to complete, it features an 82m escalator and there are 2100 seats in the main auditorium.
Positioned on the banks of the river Elbe on approx 1,700 reinforced concrete piles the building complex features three concert halls, a hotel, 45 private apartments, and a publicly accessible Plaza with a 360° panoramic view of the city.
The 7,000 sq m roof of the Elbphilharmonie consists of eight spherical, concavely bent sections that form a uniquely elegant curving silhouette. In addition, 6,000 shimmering giant sequins have been applied to the roof. The roof structure, with its steep curves and high peaks, itself weighs 1,000 tonnes and covers the complex star-shaped steel framework that carries the Grand Hall without any supporting pillars.
Along the way it has generated considerable debate in the city. Commenting as the project started to hit delays and increased costs Marcel Schweitzer of the Association of Taxpayers in Hamburg said: "In the beginning we were very excited by this idea but the costs have increased so much that we are now depressed. The people say it's just ridiculous."
However locals are now warming to the finished building with its sequined exterior and lavish interior and it is set to become an iconic landmark structure for Hamburg and Germany as a whole.
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