The Elbphilharmonie and Concert Hall Acoustics

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The Elbphilharmonie is a concert hall in Hamburg, Germany.

The weave-like façade is one impressive element; it’s worth noting $850 million has been spent on its creation.

The gently curved elevator is another stunning feature. Found in the lobby, this elevator will take you straight into the heart of what is easily one of the most unique concert halls in recent history.

The central auditorium however, is the most fantastic aspect. There are a number of reasons as to why this is the case:

All About The Central Auditorium

Created from 10,000 unique acoustic panels that can be found along the ceiling, walls, and balustrades, the central auditorium gives the impression of being a deep, gleaming, ivory, cave-like structure. It is the result of parametric design. This involves designers utilizing algorithms to create something tangible. The Elbphilharmonie is perhaps the most breathtaking example of this concept to date.

With the concert hall, Herzog and De Meuron utilized algorithms to construct unique shapes for each of the ten thousand gypsum fiber acoustic panels that can be found along the walls of the auditorium. Think of the walls as interlocking portions of a large-scale puzzle and you’ll have a rough idea of how algorithms can be used in the creation of something so impressive.

The Future Of Acoustics Meeting Design

As a whole, the ten thousand panels create an extraordinary sense of harmony and flow. The auditorium specifically will offer 2150 seats in addition to one thousand hand-blown glass light bulbs. The end result is something that certainly looks astonishing but it is important to remember that this concert hall is about more than aesthetics.

Over one million ‘cells’ can be found across these thousand panels. These little cells can range in size from four to 16 centimetres across. They are designed to shape sounds within the auditorium. No two panels within the space will scatter and/or absorb the sound waves in the same fashion. However, when everything comes together, the result is perfect sonic harmony and perhaps one of the most unique listening experiences an individual could ever hope to experience.

Yasuhisa Toyota played a crucial role in bringing this concept to life. As one of the most respected acousticians in the world, Toyota was able to bring a formidable degree of experience and insight into this remarkable project

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