On January 11th, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg celebrates its 5th birthday. As a landmark, it is now an integral part of the Hanseatic city. The construction of the Elbphilharmonie was anything but a success.
It is the fate of many landmarks in this world to first attract hatred and malice. For example, nobody wanted the Eiffel Tower at first. Writer Alexandre Dumas, for example, called the steel construction “disgusting” at the time, and the majority of Parisian high society wanted the thing gone as soon as possible. Tower father Eiffel countered: "Do you think that because we are engineers we don't care about the beauty in our constructions and that we don't strive to create something elegant because we are building something solid and durable at the same time?" And indeed he is tower of permanence. Today people love it, Paris without the Eiffel Tower: absolutely unthinkable.
The situation may be similar with the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. The opera building is already a new symbol of the city and seems as inextricably linked to the Elbe metropolis as the Fischmarkt, Michel and Reeperbahn. But until then it was a long way away. The Elbphilharmonie almost became a second BER. Now she's a BER in cool.
In fact, the opera building was a scandalous project during its construction period, which regularly caused ridicule and annoyance. The construction period was originally supposed to last three years. It ended up being ten years because something kept going wrong. And instead of the planned 77 million euros, the building cost an incredible 789 million euros.
The plans seemed bold from the start. The new building was to be built on the base of the historic Kaispeicher A at the Port of Hamburg. Contrary to what was initially planned, only the listed facade of the warehouse was preserved. The large concert hall has a weight of 12,500 tons and, as an independent structure, is acoustically decoupled from the overall building. More than 1,000 individual glass elements adorn the outer facade, all with integrated light and heat protection through gridded foils.
Curved glass elements are unique pieces
A chrome-based multiple coating from the German company AGC Interpane ensures that the facade shimmers differently depending on the sunlight. 595 glass elements have been individually curved for the concise shape, which is intended to be reminiscent of waves or sails. An extremely complex process for which only a handful of companies worldwide have the necessary know-how.