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Music In The Air

More than ten years in the making, Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall adds a high note to the Hamburg skyline.

Fred A. Bernstein

Commercial structures reinvented as cultural attractions? It’s a phenomenon happening all over the world but nowhere more dramatically than in Hamburg. There, a 2,820-seat concert venue is opening January 11 atop one of the city’s largest warehouse buildings, a masonry behemoth dating from the 19th century. Designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, the glass-clad concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie, perches on the building like an iceberg that’s too cool to melt. The warehouse “will now bear on top the load that it once carried within its walls,” states Jacques Herzog, who founded the firm with Pierre de Meuron.

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February 2017