Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg opens

Herzog & de Meuron,

Thies Rätzke, Iwan Baan, Maxim Schulz, Michael Zapf,

Amburgo, Germania,


The Elbphilharmonie designed by Herzog & de Meuron gives the city of Hamburg a new landmark. The building’s verticality stands out in a context in dominated by horizontal lines.

Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg opens

January 11 and 12 saw the inauguration of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, accompanied by a series of “social” initiatives: inaugural concerts broadcast online with live streaming on Youtube and an Instagram contest with the hashtag #myelphi360 offering thousands of different points of view on the project by Herzog & de Meuron.

Expansion of the existing building, the Kaispeicher A port building, made of brick, in a difficult, delicate context on the banks of a river was brilliantly solved with a new glass volume reflecting the colours of the sky and water and standing out as light against a massive base.
The point of contact, or rather “detachment”, between the two volumes is the “Plaza”, a new public plaza on a higher level than the city; a very interesting place well worth closer investigation for its wonderful panoramic views of Hamburg and the Elbe River.
Viewing it as an expansion consisting of a new glass volume set on top of an existing building, it is only natural to compare the Elbphilharmonie to the Port House in Antwerp designed by Zaha Hadid. The architects’ attitudes to design are totally different, and lead to totally different results: Zaha Hadid’s volume is a diamond resting on the roof of the former barracks building, while the new glass volume designed by Herzog & de Meuron is obtained through extrusion of the form of Kaispeicher A, and is perfectly consistent with the volume of the older building.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Design: Herzog & de Meuron
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Images courtesy of Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan, Thies Rätzke, Maxim Schulz, Michael Zapf,



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