Elbphilharmonie

Opening Year 2017
Location Hamburg, Germany
Capacity 2,098 seats
Architect Herzog & de Meuron
Owner HamburgMusik gGmbH
User NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra (resident)
Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra
Symphoniker Hamburg
Construction Cost EUR 789M

The Elbphilharmonie stands prominently on a 1963 warehouse facing directly to the Elbe river.

The design keyword of the Grosser Saal is “intimacy”. Because of the size of the Grosser Saal, the question of how to make the audience feel “not distant” from the performers became the most important theme of the design work. When Nagata Acoustics joined the design team, the project had already decided that the basic shape of the Grosser Saal would no be the “shoebox” configuration, but instead would use the so-called “vineyard” configuration to seat the audience as close to the stage as possible. In order to achieve acoustical intimacy, the design solution involved creating small groups of audience seats and designing effective, sound-reflecting wall surfaces for every group of audience seating.

The architect favored the seashell motif microshaping for the diffusing surface pattern, which were usually expected to create soft sound reflections. They were also used to eliminate the long path echoes. The depth of microshaping at each portion of wall and ceiling was defined through the acoustical test with a 1/10-scale physical model.

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