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Elbphilharmonie Books

Coffee-table piece or an architectural tome? Explore three newly published Elbphilharmonie books.

Remarkable, how much has already been written about it: even before the first visitor stepped foot onto the public viewing platform, the Plaza, on 4 November 2016, newspapers and blogs were already full of stories and myths about the Elbphilharmonie. And several books have already appeared; see below for details of three exciting publications:


By Joachim Mischke and Michael Zapf

Elbphilharmonie Buch / Joachim Mischke

No-one knows the building as well as he does: as head of the culture section at local daily paper Hamburger Abendblatt, Joachim Mischke followed the turbulent story of the Elbphilharmonie from the outset.

In this book Mischke looks back on the planning and construction phases, explains many interesting details of the building’s architecture and supplies portraits of a number of key figures involved in the project. He pays tribute to Hamburg’s rich musical past and closes the 240-page book with these words: »Amazing! They actually built it!«

The pictures were taken by Hamburg-based photographer Michael Zapf. He made a record of the construction site with its cranes, steel pillars and hard hats, and took impressive images of the completed building – from the inside, from the ground and from the air.

»Elbphilharmonie« by Joachim Mischke and Michael Zapf is also available in English.

TAUSENDUNDEINE ELPHI / A Thousand and One Elphis

By Jürgen Drese and Andreas Greve

Buchcover Tausendundeine Elphi

Depending on the light and the position of the sun, a wide variety of different colours are reflected in the glass facade of the Elbphilharmonie. Artist Jürgen Drese goes one step farther in his pictures: Drese changes the surroundings as well by painting the Elphi in fairy-tale and film settings, interpreting it in the style of great artists like Dalí, Max Ernst or Michelangelo, and transplanting it to far-flung places like Rome, Egypt or Mount Fuji.

Tausendundeine Elphi / Jürgen Drese

There’s probably no-one who has painted the Elbphilharmonie as often as Jürgen Drese: he has produced some 200 pictures of it to date. »It’s my admiration for the building that motivates me. I love the way a crazy idea turns into something that everyone suddenly likes! You don’t find that so often.«

Fifty-five of his paintings have been selected for this book, and author Andreas Greve has written a poem to accompany each picture.

Elbphilharmonie Wimmelbuch / Book Featuring Detailed Illustrations

By Achim Ahlgrimm

Elbphilharmonie Wimmelbuch

Illustrator Achim Ahlgrimm is a master of the detailed cartoon: his pictures feature hundreds of colourful figures teeming in a small space. He has now brought out an entire book devoted to the Elbphilharmonie.

»Mein großes Elbphilharmonie Wimmelbuch« is an amusing tour through the new concert hall, where there’s lots to discover: in every corner lurk usual concert-goers, merry musicians and exciting instruments. The illustrations tell all kinds of little stories to whet the reader’s imagination, and the many fold-out pages in the book make it quite an adventure to leaf through it.