Crystal Palace

Elphilharmone to Open


The expressionist dream of the glass pavilion drawn by figures like Bruno Taut, Wenzel Hablik, or the Luckhardt brothers has had to wait a hundred years to come true, but at least it has come true in Germany, and big time. After a decade of construction, Herzog & de Meuron have finally completed the Elbphilharmonie, new icon of a city which is vigorous like few are, Hamburg, which has had no qualms about spending 860 million euros on this great cathedral for music. The building presents a radical superposition of two strata: the lower one is an immense port warehouse of which the only original element left is the brick skin; the upper one is a volume of opalescent glass that reflects the surrounding urban fabric, exceeding 100 meters in height. Crystalline on the outside, the building is organic on the inside, and harbors three concert halls, the largest one of which, seating 2,100 people, is like a cave clad with panels of an impeccable white color. The technical experts assure us that the acoustics are excellent, but it’s the audience present at the inaugural concert, set for 11 January 2017, that will have the last word. 

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