© Thies Raetzke
© Thies Raetzke

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Hamburgs new landmark

The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg is truly building of superlatives and has set itself the goal of becoming one of the ten best concert halls in the world. The fact that it has the best chances to get there is not only due to the spectacular architecture, but also to the unique acoustics.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Hamburg will gain a new cultural and urban landmark with the Elbphilharmonie in HafenCity. Classical music culture, music of the 21st century and sophisticated light music will have a spectacular venue here.

Designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg is built in a historic location. The warehouse designed by Werner Kallmorgen and constructed between 1963 and 1966 was used for storage of cocoa, tea and tobacco until the 1990s and retains its distinctive structure and characteristic façade. The 20,000 square metre warehouse space, at that time the largest storage space in the city, has been a distinctive landmark since it was constructed.

The interplay of the archaic Kaispeicher (quay warehouse) with the bold sweep of the glistening glass construction is the Elbphilharmonie's architectural calling card. The lower part of the building will house a car park, restaurants, a wellness and conference area for ​​the hotel and the Kaistudio (quay studio), a concert hall for 170 visitors. In the upper part of the building there will be two concert halls in addition to the hotel rooms and 45 private residences: The Great Hall with its 2,150 seats in a 'vineyard architecture' style is the heart of the Elbe Philharmonic. It stretches from the 12th to the 17th floor and is acoustically isolated from the rest of the building. The small hall with 550 seats will be used for chamber music and jazz concerts, banquets and receptions.

The former use by the port and the new cultural identity of the location create a unique connection here: Visitors are transported over an 82-metre curved escalator through the former Kaispeicher A to a plaza open to the public 37 metres above Hamburg. From there, Hamburg residents and tourists will be able to enjoy a unique 360° panoramic view of the port, the Elbe and the city. In total, this plaza alone covers 4,000 square metres, making it approximately as big as the Rathaus (Town Hall) Market.

The Plaza

© Oliver Heissner

The lookout opens its doors to the public before its official inauguration in November 2016.

Between the Kaispeicher and the glass part of the building lies the PLAZA. Visitors can enjoy the panoramic view over Hamburg and the harbour from this 37m high and 4000 m2 wide platform. It´s even bigger than the Hamburg Rathausmarkt! The plaza is full of architecturally interesting details, like the curved and sound muffling ceiling, the 3-D planned substructure, the custom made bricks on the floor and the geometrically arranged wind deflectors, which are up to 6m high.

Access is not for concert or hotel guests only, but for everyone who wants to enjoy the city from above.



The Music

Before the official opening of the Elbphilharmonie on january 11th 2017, the „Elbphilharmonie Concerts“ in the Laeiszhalle give you a glimpse on the broad spectrum of of classical and new music which will await you in the new concert house.

Christoph Lieben-Seutter is director of the Elbphilharmonie since 2007 and moreover responsible for his own programme of  about 120 concerts since 2009. They take place in different locations, like the Laeiszhalle. Before the Elbphilharmonie will open its doors on January 11th  2017, the “Elbphilharmonie Concerts” in the Laeiszhalle give an outlook on the panoply of  concerts  –  ranging from classical and new music to jazz, cross over and world music.

There will be approximately 650 concerts per year in the halls of the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle, among them you can find  200 “Elbphilharmonie Concerts”.The majority of concerts is given by Hamburg choirs and ensembles but also private operators are setting highlights in the programme. The residential orchestra of the concert house will be the NDR Elbphilharmonie orchestra under chief conductor Thomas Hengelbrook. The ensemble “Resonanz”, which is combinig club- and classical music experience, is entertaining the “Kleiner Saal” of the Elbphilharmonie. There can be seated up to 550 guests. The programme of “the small hall” (Kleiner Saal) includes chamber music, jazz and solo concerts.

The musical programme will cover the whole range of classical and new music, from renaissance to contemporary tunes. You will find there small solo concerts and chamber music but also events featuring big choirs and orchestras.

On the Inside

From the main entrance starts Europe`s longest moving stairway up to the 6th floor. It is 82 m high and its course is slightly bent – you can`t see, where it ends. Welcome to a surprising journey through the depth of the old ware house!

On the inside of the building  lies the core of  the Elbphilharmonie: The grand concert hall. It seats about 2100 guests in the »vineyard« style. The stage for artists and orchestras is situated at the centre of the hall and is surrounded by terraced seating. An extensive and architecturally impressive sound reflector is suspended high above the stage. It leads to spectacular acoustics and contains parts of the lightning technology and stagecraft. The concept was created by Yasuhisa Toyota, a  world  class  acoustician.  It was metrologically  tested  on a 1:10 model of the hall.

The Elbphilharmonie contains also a hotel with 250 bedrooms and 45 freehold flats. In the Kaispeicher, the old part of the building, are rooms for music education with the “tingling museum”, gastronomy, storage and rehearsal rooms, parking lots and the conference and wellness area of the hotel.



The Elbphilharmonie Pavilion on the Magellan-Terassen is where you can learn about architectural and constructional details of the building.

Moreover, you can inform yourself about the upcoming programme and listen to music samples. There is also a photo and film exhibition. In the upper part of the pavilion is a 1:10 model of the big concert hall on display. Opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The spectrum of the programme ranges from classical and new music to cross over and world music.

Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle Service GmbH

Dammtorwall 46
20355 Hamburg
Tel: 040-357 666 0

Listen and find out!

Get exciting background information on these and other attractions of Hamburg with the free with audio guides in our Hamburg App.

Offers in German

Elbphilharmonie – on the Road to Perfection

Interesting presentation on the history of the Elbphilharmonie. Sketches and photographs are documenting the building process, films and animations show what lies ahead.

Saturday, Sunday & Holidays: 5 p.m.
75 min. /  € 6 / concessions € 3
Meeting point: Elbphilharmonie Pavilion

Presentation and HafenCity Tour

Tour and lectures on the property development focusing on the grand hall and its acoustics. Tour through the West-HafenCity, visitation of the site.

Saturday, Sunday & Holidays: 5 p.m.
90 min. /  € 8 / concessions € 5
Meeting point: Elbphilharmonie Pavilion


Offers for international Groups

Lectures for groups, suitable for up to 40 participants.

English, French or Dutch: €250.00

Group Bookings and Information
phone: +49 40 357 666 280 (Mon-Thu / 14:00-18:00)




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Your Hamburg Tourismus Team