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Herzog & de Meuron’s Hamburg concert hall marries math and music

Elbphilharmonie has 10,000 acoustic panels

Herzog & de Meuron’s recently completed concert hall, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany, fuses acoustics seamlessly into the architecture so that sound shapes the space and vice versa.

The 26-story building is perched above a former warehouse and includes 1,000 windows. The interior, however, is the main focus: Inside the concert hall, there are are undulating walls made up of 10,000 panels surrounding the space. Made to look like coral reefs, the panels were specifically designed from algorithms that determined the best design. There are also 1,000 hand-blown glass bulbs to decorate the space. The hall can sit up to 2,500 audience members.

The structure took nearly a decade to build. Originally slated for completion in 2010, the building was six year late and $600 million over budget when it opened in November 2016.