Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Elbe Philharmonic hall in Hamburg, what a jewel of architecture ! – Le Figaro

The Elbphilharmonie, the building of non-standard designed by the swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, has delivered its first concert this Wednesday, in the presence of Angela Merkel. Last November, Le Figaro had been able to visit the first time here.

The Burgers have already provided a small name, “Elphi”. The Elbe Philharmonic hall, in Hamburg, has finally been inaugurated this Wednesday to the sound of Beethoven and Wagner, in the presence of the German chancellor Angela Merkel. The building, already compared to the Sydney opera house in Australia, is intended to provide the country with a world-renowned attraction in making mention of the years of delay and a budget far exceeded.

The project, started in 2007, lasted seven years more. The cost of the works amounted to 865 million euros (790 million of public money and $ 70 million from private donations). In 2003, it was announced 77 million, a figure of departure refuted by the architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, because it “was an empty shell that does not take into account the totality of the program, with its hotel, its 45 homes, its educational forums and its second concert hall “.

When the City of Hamburg is involved in 2005, with the arrival of the new mayor, Olaf Scholz, the cost is increased to $ 360 million, a little less than that of the Philharmonie de Paris estimated officially to 365 million euros. The budget has therefore exploded. But the result is absolutely spectacular !

It is a staggering 110 metres like a strange ship on its edge

Designed by the famous duo of basel, which recognizes the inventiveness and rigor as the new Tate Modern in London, the Elbphilharmonie rises majestically, in a trapezoidal shape, in the middle of the waters of the river surrounding it on three sides. Built at the western end of the modern HafenCity, an exemplary project of urban development, it makes the link between the city and the third largest port in Europe.

finally, Here is Hamburg, the second largest city in the country, as well as a monument to international influence, of which he is the symbol.

Take account of the past, the strong identity of this city to be new as a person, Herzog & de Meuron are masters in the field. The originality of their project is its base in brick, the Kaispeicher A, a former warehouse, tea, tobacco and cocoa in the early 1960′s, on which is placed a building in the glass, crowned with a roof in the shape of a wave. It rises to 110 meters, like a strange ship on its tip. It is necessary to reverse the head to see the top. From the outside, nothing says that it is a philharmonic. And in front of the entrance, the interior offers a lot of surprises.

The access is an experience in itself. Some will have the ball in the belly by taking the escalator, futuristic 80-meter-long which you don’t see the end because it is slightly domed. It leads to a large window offering a view of the waters of the Elbe. It is a first step before the access smoothly up to the Plaza, public space area with a ground of brick to indicate subtly that it is not yet in the holy of holies.

Huge mushroom suspended

At 37 meters high, the panorama is breathtaking. Then one is committed by a wooden staircase curved up to the entrance of the room surrounded by balconies. It is a sort of huge nest at the top covered by thick concrete pillars, from the basement to the roof. Observed a small private terrace, it suggests by its slopes, from pea to a ski track, a nod to the Swiss home of the architects.

Before entering in to the holy Grail, it is not tired of sifting between the stories, the beautiful views, with its play of angles studied to perfection. Herzog & de Meuron have left nothing to chance, until the opening of the smart windows as in a boat or the numerous mirrors that multiply the views on the outside. Finishes, which often in such projects, monumental go by the wayside, are perfect.

The shock is at its worst once in the large room, the acoustics produced by the Japanese Yasuhisa Toyota, whose walls were covered with gypsum grey white, panel at the aspect of fossil carved in different thicknesses to reflect and absorb the sound best. Music lovers were able to appreciate on Wednesday, the first notes out of the scene, just below the huge mushroom suspended like a flying saucer that hides the technical installations.

“The philharmonie is not a demonstration of greatness,” says Jacques Herzog. This is the ambitious agenda that has made particularly large. Our role as architect, is to give a human dimension to a building. It must have a durability of not only aesthetic but also cultural, and register in the collective memory, in the same way as the churches. Our role is to give the public our work to do his or her life. If people come, if the public feels comfortable, if the flow works, it means that we have succeeded in our mission.”


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