The Elbphilharmonie, also known as Elbe Philharmonic Hall is a concert hall in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany, on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River. It is one of the largest and acoustically most advanced concert halls in the world. It is popularly nicknamed Elphi.
The building is designed as a cultural and residential complex. The original 1966 brick façade of the Kaispeicher A, formerly a warehouse, was retained at the base of the building. On top of this a footprint-matching superstructure rests on its own foundation exhibiting a glassy exterior and a wavy roof line. About one thousand glass windows are curved. The building has 26 floors with the first eight floors within the brick facade.
It reaches its highest point with 108 meters at the western side. The footprint of the building measures 120,000 m2. A curved escalator from the main entrance at the east side connects the ground floor with an observation deck, the Plaza, at the 8th floor, the top of the brick section. The Plaza is accessible by the public. It offers a view of Hamburg and the Elbe. From the Plaza the foyer of the concert hall can be reached.
The Elbphilharmonie has three concert venues. The Great Concert Hall can accommodate 2,100 visitors whereby the performers are in the center of the hall surrounded by the audience in the vineyard style arrangement.
The acoustics were designed by Yasuhisa Toyota who installed about 10,000 individually microshaped drywall plates to disperse sound waves.The Great Concert Hall contains a pipe organ with 69 registers built by Klais Orgelbau. The Recital Hall is intended for the performance of recitals, chamber music and jazz concerts; it can hold an audience of 550 people. In addition, there is the Kaistudio that allows for 170 visitors and is intended to serve educational activities. The consultant for the scenography of the concert hall was Ducks Scéno.
The easternmost part of the building is rented by Westin as the Westin Hamburg Hotel that opened on 4 November 2016. The hotel offers 244 rooms between the 9th and 20th floors. The lobby in the 8th floor can be accessed from the Plaza. The upper floors west of the concert hall accommodate 45 luxury apartments. The complex also houses conference rooms, restaurants, bars, and a spa. A parking garage for 433 cars is part of the building complex as well.
Watch behind the scenes tour of The Elbphilharmonie
Images courtesy of elbphilharmonie.de