Since 2007, controversy has been stirring due to the rising costs and delayed schedule of Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, Germany. Recent reports state the court has approved the city of Hamburg’s €40 million lawsuit against the primary contractor HochTief, who has stopped working in four areas of the €600 million project this past November. HochTief blames the architect due to differences in its plans.
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In 2003, Hamburg developer Alexander Gérard commissioned the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron to design a new concert hall built upon the historic warehouse, Kaispeicher A. Situated above the River Elbe, the heart of the project revolves around the Grand Hall, with the capacity to seat 2,150. The building also includes a smaller Recital Hall, a 37 meter-high public plaza, a 250 room five-star hotel and 45 residential flats.
The Elbphilharmonie building was originally approved by the Hamburg city parliaments with a total cost estimate of €241.3 million, of which €114.3 million is to be undertaken by the public sector. Since then, the public sector share has grown to €323 million along with the constant delay of the opening date. The project’s 2010 completion date has long passed and now the new April 2014 date still seems unlikely.
HochTief believed the steel roof structure was insufficient for the 3,800-tonne roof. However, an independent expert has confirmed the roof’s safety and hopes work will continue on.
Hamburg plans to sue HochTief’s parent company Adamanta in three suites relating to the delays.