The Elbphilharmonie – grand opening on January 11 and 12, 2017
Right on the waterfront of the river Elbe, on the western tip of the Hafen-City, Hamburg is building a new concert hall – the Elbphilharmonie. The glass structure is built upon the massive red brick construction of the former cocoa warehouse known as the Kaispeicher A and rises up to a height of 110 metres. The heart of the Elbphilharmonie, designed by Swiss architectural practice Herzog & de Meuron, is the Grand Hall. This world-class concert hall with a seating capacity for 2,100 guests and a height of 50 metres will provide a spectacular stage for Hamburg's vibrant music scene and stars from all over the world. The Grand Hall is designed according to the »vineyard« layout: The orchestra takes its place in the middle of the hall while the seats for the audience rise up all around it, much like the terraced planting of vineyards. The Recital Hall with seating for 550 is designed particularly with chamber music in mind, but also serves as an excellent venue for balls, proms or banquets. The Kaistudio with its 150 seats, located in the old warehouse structure, provides a perfect space for experimental music, lectures and workshops. It is also the centre of a spacious music education area that spreads over two floors.
In addition, the Elbphilharmonie houses a hotel, a restaurant, 45 residential flats and a Plaza where everyone can enjoy a 360° panorama view of the city. Due to the variety of the 1,100 curved and printed elements, the glass facade of the Elbphilharmonie is truly unique. The small dots printed on the surface of the panes minimize the intake of solar radiation by reflecting it. As a beautiful side effect, the glistening glass facade mirrors the surroundings of Hamburg’s new concert hall.
The Elbphilharmonie combines innovative architecture with an exceptional location, outstanding acoustics and a visionary concert programme. Already, the new concert hall inspires Hamburg’s traditional cultural scene, fosters closer bonds between its protagonists and stirs the curiosity of many people to discover the emotional power of music in all of its facets.
The Plaza of the Elbphilharmonie
The musical vision for the Elbphilharmonie
The concert business of both the Elbphilharmonie and the renowned Laeiszhalle is under the direction of one company. Christoph Lieben-Seutter holds the position of its General and Artistic Director since 2007. Both Laeiszhalle and Elbphilharmonie will continue to host their own concert series, the Elbphilharmonie Konzerte, and will also serve as venues for the concerts of several private and public concert promoters. Also and foremost regarding its musical profile, the Elbphilharmonie can be measured against its principal criteria of diversity, quality and approachability. As befitting for a concert hall of the 21st century, the music programme equally focuses on a vivid dialogue with the classical masterpieces as well as on the discovery of new sounds. Great stars and renowned orchestras from all over the world will perform on stage, while themed festivals, innovative performances and concert series beyond classical music break up traditional programming principles.
The NDR Symphony Orchestra under the musical direction of Thomas Hengelbrock will be the Orchestra in Residence of the Elbphilharmonie, while the Ensemble Resonanz holds the position as Ensemble in Residence. In addition, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra directed by Kent Nagano will perform regularly at the Elbphilharmonie, whereas the Hamburger Symphoniker become Orchestra in Residence of the venerable Laeiszhalle.
The exterior walkway of the Plaza / The Plaza is located between the old warehouse and the new glass corpus
The Plaza − opening November 2016
At a height of 37 metres, the Plaza offers a marvellous 360° view over the city and the harbour to everyone from November 2016 already. Located on top of the old warehouse, it extends across approximately 4,000 square metres which is almost the entire floor area of the Elbphilharmonie. The Plaza is thus nearly as large as the market square in front of Hamburg’s Town Hall. Not only concertgoers and hotel guests have access to the premises but everybody who feels like enjoying the view, exploring the architecture or just having coffee high over the city. The Plaza houses the hotel lobby, a bistro and an info desk. Two stairways lead up to the concert hall foyers. At the respective centres of the Plaza’s long sides, two high arches open up to a height of 8 metres. A cutout in the facade allows for a great view over the city and the harbour from here.
The way to the Plaza is an experience in itself. From the entrance on the east side of the building, an 82-metre long curved escalator leads up through the old warehouse. The ride on the ingeniously illuminated tunnel-like Tube takes the visitor directly to the gigantic panorama window that showcases the harbour and the Landungsbrücken. From there one reaches the Plaza by taking a second, 20-metre long escalator.
The Mahatma Gandhi Bridge is partly open for pedestrians again. Until its finalization and its opening for regular traffic, a provisional solution for pedestrian crossing has been arranged. Provided that no unforeseen technical problems should occur, you can cross the bridge regularly between 11:30 and 14:00 o’clock. The new Mahatma Gandhi Bridge will provide two wide lanes for motor vehicles and a five metre wide sidewalk. Until the end of 2015 this may lead to traffic obstruction in the HafenCity. For further information please visit www.hafencitynews.de.
The technical area above the Grand Hall and the hotel were completed in due time on April 30, 2015. In spring 2013, the project partners had agreed on six intermediate deadlines until the final completion date. The next and last intermediate deadline concerns the finalization of the white skin in the Grand Hall (due date: January 31, 2016). For more information on the technical equipment of the Elbphilharmonie, please take a look here.
The Elbphilharmonie will celebrate its official opening on January 11 and 12, 2017. From November 2016 on, the 4.000 square metre Plaza will already be open to the public. It offers an impressive 360° panorama view of the city and the harbour at a height of 37 metres. Ticket sales for the Elbphilharmonie start in spring 2016.
For updates on all news concerning the opening of the Elbphilharmonie, please sign up for our newsletter »Ticket sale Elbphilharmonie« under www.elbphilharmonie.de/newsletter (only in German).
Your contact person for any queries concerning the booking of the halls and venues of the Elbphilharmonie for the 2017/2018 season is Marie Kühl (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Video: The Elbphilharmonie Series: Part 2 answers the most frequently asked questions about the Plaza.
3D tour: Navigate your way through the Elbphilharmonie (also available as app).
Video: A vision becomes reality - take a virtual walk through Hamburg’s new concert hall.
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