When we spotted the news on ArchRecord of a major delay for the Elbe Philharmonic, our hearts sank a little. We’ve been covering the building extensively during its construction period and have anxiously been awaiting its completion (a date that was pushed from 2010 to 2012, and, now, is uncertain). Yet, technical difficulties pertaining to the saddle roof structure are creating a tangle between the German contractor Hochtief and the Elbe Philharmonic, leading Hochtief to stop work on the glass facade, the steel roof support structure, the 82m-long escalator and the building services.
More about the halted construction after the break.
At the root of the problem is the Philharmonic’s steel saddle roof – a structure that is expected to carry nearly 4000 tons. Currently, Hochtief has halted construction as he believes it to be unsafe due to differences between its plans and those drawn up by architect Herzog & de Meuron. And, while the design has been certified by an independent safety engineer plus the building control authority of Hamburg, Hochteif is calling for a reorganization of the entire project team before moving forward.
Karl Olaf Petters of the Elbphilharmonie said, “Hochtief certainly has problems building the roof and therefore tries to place the responsibility for the delay on the City of Hamburg.”
This hasn’t been the first instance where Hochtief and Petters have not seen eye to eye; in fact, last April, Hochtief was allegedly highering construction costs, and was reprimanded for the construction delays as the project was lingering 12 weeks behind schedule.
With this latest delay, it is unlikely that the Philharmonic’s planned opening date of April 2014 will be reached.