Yesterday, on January 9th, I had to do a trip north to Hamburg, and I used some free time left in the afternoon before sunset to visit the new attraction of Germany's second largest city: "Elbphilharmonie", the ambitious concert hall which is about to be officially opened tomorrow, January 11th. Name is a merger of "Elbe", Hamburg's river, and "philharmonie" (in Greek it means "the love of harmony", nowadays, as is known, a term for a concert hall). Nickname of this new flagship of architecture is the shortening "Elphi".
Construction of "Elphi" started ten years ago and consumed wayyyy more time and money than anticipated. But now that the building is finished most folks concur that it was worth the efforts - including me!
Elphi is situated at a headland of Hafencity (harbour city), adjacent to UNESCO heritage Speicherstadt
, the old warehouse district and its channels. The audacious construction of glass with a large concert hall (2100 places), a smaller one (500 places) and a music studio sits on top of an older storage brick building from 1963 (Kaispeicher A). Moreover it contains 45 super expensive flats, a luxury hotel, several restaurants and cafés and a beneath a parking deck. While the building provides some very posh offers, the cheapest tickets for the concert hall are really affordable (15€).
The construction of glass resembles waves, a cristall or - as I thought - the set of sails of a ship.
Both parts of the ensemble are separated by a platform which is accessible to the public (tickets required), called the "Plaza". From there you can enter the concert halls (still closed for visitors yesterday as the festive opening didn't take place yet) and at the outside a balustrade all around the building with stunning views of the harbour and the city of Hamburg.
So with some pics I may invite you to join me during my one hour visit of the Plaza. At this time still a lot of preparations for the upcoming festival were going on, including the installation of colorful illuminations with a lot of spotlights which won't be permanent though.
A view of Elbphilharmonie from one of the jetties at the harbour. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time for a trip by boat which would provide the best view.
Elphi is reachable from land (the city) by public transport (subway etc.), by foot, by car or by boat. Here is the stop of the ferry boat. Imagine a warm summer night, debarking a boat for a visit of a concert, wow ...
Approaching Elphi with its two parts and the balustrade of the Plaza in-between (in blue).
One of the archways of the balustrade.
Now the illumination of the balustrade has changed to purple.
A long escalator will take you up to the story with the Plaza. The stairway is bent, so it's longer than you think when you enter it.
Folks using the escalator with a lot of anticipation.
At the end of the escalator a huge panoramic window triggers the first "wows".
Entry to the large concert hall, still blocked from the public that day.
Undulated glass between the inner the outer parts of the Plaza.
A little bar invites you to have a snack.
Yes, this one, please ...
All those reflections of the walls of glass make you wonder which view is "real" and which one is just a mirror image.
Same thing outside, walking the balustrade.
View of the harbour with the wheel steamer "Louisiana Star".
Although the day had been quite grey, I was really lucky with the weather, considering that the weekend before Hamburg was impassable due to black ice, and another front of bad weather was already looming.
Another part of the harbour.
Enjoying the views towards the city of Hamburg.
The archway seen from inside.
Detail with the festive illumination.
View through the inner part of the Plaza from one arch to the other. Workers are still busy to prepare for the festival and its live broadcast.
On the way out ...
... you once again pass the panoramic window with a last view towards famous St. Pauli Piers
as night sets in.
View back towards the ensemble of buildings, including Elbphilharmonie.
The new "flagship" of brick and glass among floating collegues.
Meanwhile the round trip of the Louisiana Star had come to an end.
Mounting the subway (which isn't "sub" in this part at all), with a view back to Speicherstadt.
At last some links:Official site of Elbphilharmonie in English.
DW Article from Januar 9th: Hamburg's long-awated Elbphilharmonie concert hall opens on January 11
New York Times, Jan 10th: Finally, a Debut for the Elbphilharmonie Hall in Hamburg
The Telegraph: Spectacular drone footage of Hamburg's new £670m concert hall
360° youtube video
(click the arrows in the upper left corner).English article in Wikipedia
isn't that great yet. More details and pictures in the German version.
Edit January 12:
Here is the link to the video of the whole broadcast of the grand opening of the concert hall Elbphilharmonie yesterday evening, including a lot of German talking before the music starts. You may skip through it to watch the more interesting parts, including the pics from the accompanying lightshow outside. Musicwise I like most the short pieces of vocal Renaissance music (Praetorius), especially the one starting at 00:47:https://www.elbphilharmonie.de/de/worldwide
Current temperatures in Europe (updating) in Celsius:
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Forecast for my town Mainz:LinkLive webcam of Mainz Cathedral.
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