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Elbphilharmonie, Germany

Commission:  Herzog and de Meuron Architects
Set against the backdrop of the Hamburg harbor, this house of music incorporates an attractive mix of urban uses, while delighting visitors with its remarkable architectural features.

The architectural firm Herzog and de Meuron used the historic Kaispeicher, a brick building from the 1960s, as a base for this new structure with a white, shimmering superstructure. The complex is
home to three concert halls, a hotel, F&B spaces and private apartments. The center is the Plaza, a freely accessible square at 37 meters with a giant 360-degree panoramic view over the city.
The building appears to be slender and fragile, despite its enormous height of 110 meters, when viewed from west; from the east, the structure appears to lose height and lies wide on its base.

An eye-catching feature of the complex is the undulating sweep of the roof, which brings movement to the clear order of the façade. Glass rectangles are strictly arranged adjacent to each other and are interspersed with peepholes, while bulging in a few places. This gives the building the effect of a gigantic, iridescent crystal, whose appearance keeps changing while catching the reflections of the sky, the water and the city, and draws the city together not only in a visual sense.