© Iwan Baan
Beautiful music in Germany
Hamburg's stunning old/new concert hall
Hamburg’s new concert hall Elbphilharmonie sits on the banks of the river Elbe in the Sandtorhafen docks so it’s fitting that it has a wave-like top that rises 110 metres into the sky. Its brick warehouse foundation stored tea, tobacco and cocoa until the 1990s. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron — also the minds behind the Tate Modern’s new Switch House — the spectacular glass structure opens in mid January. It consists of three concert halls, a music education centre, a Westin hotel and an observation deck that’s nestled in between the lower brick building and the newer glass one. The Grand Concert Hall is the building’s heart, but is decoupled from the rest of the building for soundproofing reasons. It features 2100 seats arranged around a centrally located stage — no one in the audience will be seated more than 30 metres from the conductor. There’s also an extraordinary organ with 4765 pipes. elbphilharmonie.de.
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