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Why Herzog & de Meuron's Hamburg Elbphilharmonie Is Worth Its $900 Million Price Tag

09:30 - 26 March, 2017
Why Herzog & de Meuron's Hamburg Elbphilharmonie Is Worth Its $900 Million Price Tag, Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Elbphilharmonie is a unique presence in Hamburg’s cityscape. Image © Maxim Schulz
Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Elbphilharmonie is a unique presence in Hamburg’s cityscape. Image © Maxim Schulz

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Will Elbphilharmonie Be Hamburg’s Guggenheim?"

So much has already been written about Hamburg’s undeniably excellent Elbphilharmonie, which formally opened in January but has been publicly accessible, in part, since November. The chatter has mostly revolved around the same two talking points—the building’s on-the-tip-of-your-tongue shape and its fantastic price tag. In addressing the former, critics have called attention to the hall’s resemblance to an iceberg, an outcrop, a ship, circus tents, or the Sydney Opera House. And as for the costs, totaling $900 million, they point out how the project hemorrhaged cash, even if they have inadvertently exaggerated the figures. Having momentarily lost control of the narrative, the city felt compelled to set the record straight in time for the inaugural performance: The building cost just three—not ten!—times the initial budget.

The building’s facade incorporates 2,200 flat and curved panes, which contain millions of chrome-coated dots that reduce solar gain. Image © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan The walls of the main auditorium are covered in what the architects call a “white skin” made up of 10,000 gypsum fiberglass panels. Image © Iwan Baan The red-brick base, which was previously a warehouse for cocoa, contains various facilities, including a garage and a music education center, while the upper glass volume comprises luxury apartments and a hotel and spa, in addition to the new music venues. Image Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron +10

This Photographer Brightens Up Mundane German Architecture with a Jolt of Color

14:00 - 17 March, 2017

In any city across the world, there are countless examples of unsung architecture – well-designed if inoffensive buildings that strive to please by not standing out from the crowd. For German photographer Paul Eis, these buildings provide the perfect canvas for his work. Displayed on his Instagram account, the_architecture_photographer, Eis captures these buildings in their best light, and then digitally adds in bright colors, elevating these structures from mundane to magnificent.

See How Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Sits in Its Context

04:00 - 7 March, 2017
See How Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Sits in Its Context, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has visited Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie HamburgGermany – a 2017 winner of the ArchDaily Building of the Year award. The striking silhouette of this cultural centre and concert hall, which is identical in ground plan to the brick block of the older building upon which it sits, is often photographed as an isolated object. In this photo-essay, the context of the port around the project is often foregrounded – and unusual views offer new perspectives onto its iconic design.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu +60

New Headquarter Extension for Gebr / gmp Architekten

15:00 - 6 March, 2017
New Headquarter Extension for Gebr  / gmp Architekten, © Marcus Bredt
© Marcus Bredt

© Marcus Bredt © Marcus Bredt © Marcus Bredt © Marcus Bredt +13

  • Architects

  • Location

    Koreastraße 5, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
  • Design Team

    Volkwin Marg, Jürgen Hillmer, Stephanie Joebsch.
  • Area

    9700.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

#donotsettle Takes Us Inside Herzog & de Meuron's Hamburg Elbphilharmonie During Its Opening

09:30 - 12 February, 2017

In the latest video from architecture vlogging favorites #donotsettle, the infectiously energetic duo of Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost team up to take us inside Herzog & de Meuron's newly-completed Elphilharmonie in Hamburg. Filmed during the music venue's "family day," part of its three-week-long opening festival, #donotsettle gives us an engaging look into the building's many spaces—cleverly accompanied by an annotated cross-section of the building which allows us to track their progress through the project's labyrinthine interior.

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Maxim Schulz © Iwan Baan © Maxim Schulz © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +9

Fly Through Herzog & de Meuron's Hamburg Elbphilharmonie at 2 Different Speeds

12:00 - 14 January, 2017
Fly Through Herzog & de Meuron's Hamburg Elbphilharmonie at 2 Different Speeds, Screenshot via video
Screenshot via video

In preparation for their grand opening on January 11/12, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg has released an interactive drone video that lets you experience the Herzog & de Meuron-designed building at two different speeds: adagio and presto (slow or fast). Using the spacebar to switch between speeds, the footage takes you on a tour up the curving escalator, on to the elevated terrace, around the building and finally into the main concert hall, where the drones meet back up in a dramatic finish.

Herzog & de Meuron Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Finally Celebrates Grand Opening

16:00 - 11 January, 2017
Herzog & de Meuron Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Finally Celebrates Grand Opening , © Thies Rätzke
© Thies Rätzke

Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, Germany has opened after 16 years of planning and construction, which was held back by financial and legal issues. The grand opening of the concert hall, taking place on January 11 and 12, 2017, features inaugural concerts and a light display on the façade of the building.

As Hamburg’s newest cultural destination, the building was inaugurated by German Federal President Joachim Gauck, Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz, architect Jacques Herzog from Herzog & de Meuron, and General and Artistic Director Christoph Lieben-Seutter.

More than 4,500 guests from Germany and abroad will take part in the opening concerts in the Grand Hall and Recital Hall today and tomorrow, including Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, various high-ranking political and cultural leaders from around the world, and 1,000 visitors who won tickets to the event, out of 220,000 entrants from 73 countries.

© Maxim Schulz © Maxim Schulz © Maxim Schulz © Maxim Schulz +9

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg / Herzog & de Meuron

02:00 - 26 December, 2016
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg  / Herzog & de Meuron, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

© Maxim Schulz © Iwan Baan © Maxim Schulz © Iwan Baan +30

  • Architects

  • Location

    Platz der Deutschen Einheit 1-5, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
  • Partners

    Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler (Partner in Charge), David Koch (Partner in Charge)
  • Site Area

    10.540 m2
  • Gross Floor Area

    125.512 m2
  • Footprint

    5.745 m2
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

Cinnamon Tower and Pavilion / Bolles + Wilson

02:00 - 28 November, 2016
Cinnamon Tower and Pavilion / Bolles + Wilson, © Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

© Christian Richters © Christian Richters © Mitja Schneehage © Cordelia Ewert +28

Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg Photographed by Iwan Baan

09:30 - 5 November, 2016
Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg Photographed by Iwan Baan, Exterior. Image © Iwan Baan
Exterior. Image © Iwan Baan

The Plaza of Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie has opened to the public. The concert hall’s observation deck, located 37 meters (121 feet) above ground level, is designed around a public square concept and is accessed via a 82 meter (269 foot) long, curving escalator, providing visitors to panoramic views of the city and harbor.

To mark the event, the Elbphilharmonie has released a new set of photographs by Iwan Baan, showing off the newly completed interior spaces. The full building is set to officially open to the public on January 11 and 12, 2017.

Rooftop. Image © Iwan Baan Grand Hall. Image © Iwan Baan Plaza. Image © Iwan Baan Plaza. Image © Iwan Baan +21

Veiled in Brilliance: How Reflective Facades Have Changed Modern Architecture

09:30 - 12 October, 2016
Veiled in Brilliance: How Reflective Facades Have Changed Modern Architecture, Reflections on glass façade. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg. Architects: Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Frank Thiel
Reflections on glass façade. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg. Architects: Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Frank Thiel

Even as modernism promoted the transparency of glass architecture, many within the movement were conscious of the monotony of large glass facades, with even Mies van der Rohe using elements such as his trademark mullions to break up his facades. But in the years since, countless uniform structural glazing skyscrapers have emerged and bored urban citizens. In response to this, unconventional reinterpretations of facades have gained interest.

Accompanied by the belief that light and brilliance could help in creating iconic architecture and a better human world, glass and metal have been innovatively transformed to create crystalline images. As a result, the locus of meaning in architecture has shifted from the internal space-form towards the external surface.

KCAP & Kunst + Herbert Win Competition for “Garden City of the 21st Century” in Hamburg

16:20 - 30 September, 2016
KCAP & Kunst + Herbert Win Competition for “Garden City of the 21st Century” in Hamburg, © KCAP / Kunst + Herbert
© KCAP / Kunst + Herbert

KCAP Architects & Planners in cooperation with Kunst + Herbert have won the international Fischbeker Reethan competition to master plan the Harburg district of Hamburg, Germany. The 70 hectare site is being developed by the  IBA Hamburg (International Building Exhibition) as a new residential and business district with the aim of creating a “Garden City of the 21st Century.” The design will accommodate a total of 2,200 apartments, 100,000 square meters (1,080,000 square feet) of small industry space and nearly 200,000 square meters (2,150,000 square feet) of diverse public landscapes.

© KCAP / Kunst + Herbert © KCAP / Kunst + Herbert © KCAP / Kunst + Herbert © KCAP / Kunst + Herbert +6

Richard Meier & Partners Designs Waterfront Mixed-Use Building in Hamburg

12:20 - 27 September, 2016
Richard Meier & Partners Designs Waterfront Mixed-Use Building in Hamburg, © bloomimages
© bloomimages

Richard Meier & Partners has released images of their competition-winning design for a new 34,750 square meter (374,045 square foot) mixed-use building in Hamburg, Germany that will combine luxury condominiums, rental apartments and the new headquarters for German real estate company Engel & Völkers.

The firm was selected as the winners of an international competition for the design in 2013, beating out proposals from Foster + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects.

© bloomimages © bloomimages © bloomimages © bloomimages +20

MVRDV Wins Competition to Masterplan New Innovation Port in Hamburg

12:20 - 13 September, 2016
MVRDV Wins Competition to Masterplan New Innovation Port in Hamburg, MVRD’s masterplan foresees the development of a vast site of which hotels, conference halls, offices and start-ups, laboratories, research facilities and parking will occupy the site.. Image Courtesy of MVRDV
MVRD’s masterplan foresees the development of a vast site of which hotels, conference halls, offices and start-ups, laboratories, research facilities and parking will occupy the site.. Image Courtesy of MVRDV

MVRDV with co-architects morePlatz have won a competition to design the masterplan of the Hamburg Innovation Port, a new 70,000 square meter waterfront development that will add to the high-tech hub of Channel Hamburg in Hanse City, Hamburg. The plan for the mixed-use development uses a fusion of existing port typologies and dynamic architectural interventions to create a network of buildings containing hotels, laboratories, research facilities, offices for start-ups and a conference center.

MVRD’s masterplan foresees the development of a vast site of which hotels, conference halls, offices and start-ups, laboratories, research facilities and parking will occupy the site.. Image Courtesy of MVRDV A total surface of 70,000m2 will transform the waterways of  the Channel Hamburg development, the southern high-tech hub of Germany’s northern metropolis.. Image Courtesy of MVRDV The roofs of some buildings are partly green and partly used for terraces and solar cells.. Image Courtesy of MVRDV Part of the plan is the idea of a diverse public space in which each part has its own strong character inviting the office workers to have outside meetings and al fresco luncheons. . Image Courtesy of MVRDV +4

Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie Finally Gets Opening Date

14:10 - 20 July, 2016
Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie Finally Gets Opening Date, © Maxim Schulz
© Maxim Schulz

After years of waiting, Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, Germany, finally has been given an opening date. The building will open its doors to the public with grand opening concerts by NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra on January 11 and 12, 2017, followed by a three-week festival featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin-based band Einstürzende Neubauten.

The soaring glass structure, constructed on top of a historic warehouse along the River Elbe, was first envisioned in 2003, but rising costs and legal issues with the contractor led the project to be put on hold.

© Maxim Schulz © Thies Rätzke © Maxim Schulz © Maxim Schulz +19

Joachim Herz Foundation / Kitzmann Architekten

05:00 - 10 June, 2016
Joachim Herz Foundation  / Kitzmann Architekten, © Kitzmann Architekten With Heiner Leiska
© Kitzmann Architekten With Heiner Leiska

© Kitzmann Architekten With Heiner Leiska © Kitzmann Architekten With Heiner Leiska © Kitzmann Architekten With Heiner Leiska © Kitzmann Architekten With Heiner Leiska +33

Kinderkrippe Nursery School / KRAUS SCHÖNBERG ARCHITEKTEN

03:00 - 4 May, 2016
Kinderkrippe Nursery School / KRAUS SCHÖNBERG ARCHITEKTEN, © Hagen Stier
© Hagen Stier

© Hagen Stier © Hagen Stier © Hagen Stier © Hagen Stier +19

District School in Bergedorf / blauraum Architekten

02:00 - 25 January, 2016
District School in Bergedorf / blauraum Architekten, © Werner Huthmacher
© Werner Huthmacher

© Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher +16

  • Architects

  • Location

    Ladenbeker Weg, 21033 Hamburg, Germany
  • Design Team

    assmann beraten, planen GmbH
  • Area

    4543.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs