Construction began in 2007 and now tickets have gone on sale for the opening season of shows at the Elbphilharmonie (Elbe Philharmonic) concert hall in Hamburg. Designed by Swiss practice Herzog and de Meuron, the building will be officially opened to public in the new year on January 11.

Inside its concert halls, which are clad in acoustic gypsum fiberboard panels, equipment and furnishings are being installed in preparation for an official handover to venue operators on October 31. The complex features three concert halls, a plaza for public viewing that provides sweeping views across Hamburg, and 45 private waterfront apartments. The largest concert hall—with a capacity of 2,100—is detached from the rest of the building for further sound-proofing.

The interior of the concert hall earlier in the year in February. (Courtesy Johannes Arlt)

The interior of the concert hall earlier in the year in February. (Courtesy Johannes Arlt)

Employing a shimmering, glazed facade and a dramatic wave-like roofscape, the concert hall does well to mimic the nearby river Elbe. 1,100 glass panes comprise the facade, with each measuring a minimum of 13 feet across, many of which were spotted with small dark gray reflective dots. As visible in the images above, some panels are curved. In fact, each one is unique and individually-crafted. While creating an appealing aesthetic, the reflective glass facilitates temperature regulation by reducing heat gains. Structurally, the building relies on the support of roughly 1,700 reinforced concrete piles: it’s located where a waterfront warehouse stood until the project began just under a decade ago.

“We are finally on the home stretch,” Christoph Lieben-Seutter, general and artistic director of the Elbphilharmonie said in a press release. “The overwhelming interest for our advanced ticket booking shows the high level of anticipation for the Elbphilharmonie opening, not only in Hamburg, but also further afield.”

Those eager to see the venue before its 2017 opening can take a virtual tour available on the Elbphilharmonie website.


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