In Progress: Elbe Philharmonic Hall / Herzog and de Meuron

Oliver Heissner

Herzog and de Meuron’s Elbe Philharmonic Concert Hall in is in the midst of construction, and we just received some photos from the firm.  The 17th century factory, which the new hall rests upon, will maintain its traditional identity while housing new programmatic activities.  The Grand Hall seems to float above the distinctive factory, clothed in a tent-like glass facade.  The highly articulated facade is designed in different sections to provide appropriate sun protection depending upon function and orientation.  Once complete in 2012, the building will include a 250 room five-star hotel, and 47 apartments, in addition to a philharmonic hall of 2,150-seats and a chamber music hall of 550 seats.

See early renderings as well as recent construction photos after the break.

Images courtesy of Herzog and de Mueron or Oliver Heissner as noted.

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "In Progress: Elbe Philharmonic Hall / Herzog and de Meuron" 31 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • VolcanooHead

    I love the tent,mountain,hill feeling.

  • x

    so amazing

  • thontho

    look like snow on the mountain floating on the water.
    love it.

  • Alex Fernández Vquez

    RT @archdaily: In Progress: Elbe Philharmonic Hall / Herzog and de Mueron #architecture

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  • Marcus Teo

    Reading: "In Progress: Elbe Philharmonic Hall / Herzog and de Mueron | ArchDaily"( )

  • The Big Black & White Zebra

    It’s a great project… but I don’t like it
    But the real point to make is that every Herzog & de Mueron building is an individual piece. For that they are the best large practice working today… not like Liebeskind’s sub-Jewish Museum trot outs, Hadid’s relentless fractured fabrics or Ghery’s titanium foldings ad infinitum.
    There is so much individuality here from the overall form, connection between original and new, window glazing and internal spaces it may be worth travelling a long way to see even if you don’t like it!

    • jnk

      true. every piece is individual, but, yet, there is something “hecogish” in every project. Not like Fuksas, where every project looks like from an different architect

  • Stuart Wheeler

    Things I Like: In Progress: Elbe Philharmonic Hall / Herzog and de Mueron

  • Its good but its Costly

    Absolutely no doubt this is going to be a wonderful building. But something must be said about its construction delays and its running massively over-budget. Originally it was supposed to open in 2009 but thats been pushed back to Autumn in 2013. Oh and its currently almost 250 million over budget. Yep it costing more than twice the original budget (that cost being covered by Hamburg taxpayers). The rather sad follow on effect of this is that other potentially special buildings planned for the Hafen expansion have now been put on the shelf ie. OMA’s science center….
    Having said all that watching its progress from the train is still a highlight of my morning commute.

  • C.G.G

    It’s “de Meuron” and not “de Mueron”

  • up_today_arch

    Light-house… Image is very, very froggy… But, too much concrete for the music, isn’t it?…

  • MZ

    The most contraversial about this project is the issue of construction and costs. Originally planned with 186 Mill EUR and without too much tax-money (in 2008 were alread 80 Mill EUR donations from private and corporal philantrophists) it is currently estimated to be 500 Mill EUR, with 330 Mill EUR tax-money. Of course, the reasons are complicated and not only the architects fault-but they should have seen such unproportionality. It is a permanent topic in the german press, and the once loved cultural highlight is now considered to be a neverending bad dream. It is a shame.

    • Flick

      Many of Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings were way over budget as well, but isn’t it amazing how much he’s still talked about today as being one of the best architects in the world. It is my understanding that many of his buildings had leaking roofs as well. So while this piece of architecture may be discussed negatively in the current news, I’m guessing that in the future it will be talked about and discussed in a more positive tone. I like this piece simply because, as The Big Black & White Zebra says, it’s original but I don’t have to like to expanding budget. Responsible architecture must be about staying within the budget as well as satisfying the client’s needs. Not knowing much about this project, its client or its budget, all I can comment on is how I like the originality of this project.

      • Flick

        previous typo…it’s original, but I don’t have to like THE expanding budget.

      • jnk

        I agree that budget has nothing to do with architecture, even with ethics. Nice things cost something, even if they don´t have to and that´s the point: it is not about the money, there are beautiful simple and inexpensive buildings and there are buildings that cost more. The problem occurs, when the building is nothing more than expensive – that´s an excess, like dubai, where they try to overlay poor architecture with the most expensive decoration, but decoration does not make things beautiful.
        This building is great. it is not excessively overpriced. the cost is a result of the structure, custom-made details and because it is a philharmonie, the techologies are also expensive ( it si not just an empty office building)

      • Moneygrowsontrees

        @ jnk. You agree that budget has nothing to do with architecture…..? Thats funny

      • Leonardo Ximenes

        Budget has EVERYTHING to do with architecture. In fact it has everything to do with anything. How would you like to save to buy an expensive (albeit nice) watch and when you finally get it delivered to you, the store says “I’m sorry, but the price tag was wrong, it will cost you twice as much to have the watch. But don’t you worry, I already charged your credit card”??
        Designing buildings is not like painting or composing. A LOT of people are involved/affected. There’s no more space for giant egos in architecture nowadays, specially after the economic downturn and the green revolution. Firms who don’t recognize this are bound to die, and architects who say things like ‘budget has nothing to do with architecture’ won’t even start.

      • HAG

        @ Moneygrowsontrees:
        in fact, the most beautiful pieces of architecture have cost much, and in the mast centuries to be finished,and now we admire them like the best of the human culture. The budget has something more to do with the market and industry of architecture, not with the discipline itself.

        and i agree with jnk, money doesn’t guaranteee good architecture, but this is not that case.

    • pescador

      whatever nutsack(s) looked at those renders and that site and this architect’s history and thought, ‘yeah, gee. we can prolly do that fer a buck-fity, maybe two’ deserves the surprise they get when it goes to 5.

  • Nicholas Patten

    In Progress: Elbe Philharmonic Hall.

  • Guido Schröpel

    ARCHITEKTUR: Bilder vom Baufortschritt der Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg bei –

  • st barth

    I’m impressed with those blue boxes which, I presume, contain the the temporary construction offices. With their size and on stilts, they look larger & more complex than most of my work.

  • RJS

    The built fasade is not up to par with the renderings.

    • B

      I have to agree. Actually I don’t understand the build facade. Is it just glass with a coating?

      If so. I’ll blame the taxpayers for not caring enough.

  • pampurce

    f a n t a s t i c !

  • Bartosz Malinowski
  • mike

    Budget is essential to architecture, and putting a building together at double the cost becomes ridiculous, anyone can do that…..i hope the building lookks as good as the renders, but i feel sorry for the hamburg taxpayers…


    In Progress: Elbe Philharmonic Hall / Herzog and de Meuron

  • iiisan
  • iiisan

    Herzog + de Meuron, are you sure? Time to retire!

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  • brick

    I think, the effect is not satisfactory due to the lack of the contrast of visual weight with the lower part. When we finally see it without scaffoling we won’t have any doubts, hopefully:)

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  • sebastien

    Amazing but terrifying! In our society which calls into question every day, I struggle to understand the correlation between the rhetoric of Herzog and De Meuron and their actions … Why are so many technologies to form simple! See the absurdity of curved glass … honestly … I do not think a little modesty may have significant effect on contemporary society. Excuse my poor English.