Located on the tenth floor, the 2,100 seat concert hall features expertly designed acoustic performance. Image: Iwan Baan
The Smart Space team analysed the flow of people through a virtual model of the venue, planning the location of stairways, ticket booths and the bar. Image: Iwan Baan
Elbphilharmonie’s public plaza stands 37 m above ground level, and offers panoramic views across the city. Image: Iwan Baan
The iconic concert venue sits in the heart of Hamburg’s industrial quarter, overlooking the Elbe River. Image: Iwan Baan
The new Hamburg Elbphilharmonie is a state of the art music venue set in the heart of the city’s industrial district. The glass clad, ten-storey, multi-function venue sits above an existing factory building, and offers visitors facilities including a 2,100-seat concert hall, hotel, residential apartments, public plaza and restaurant. Seeking to create a dramatic atmosphere from the moment concert-goers arrive, the main concert hall is accessed via a curving, seven storey high escalator.
Smart Space, BuroHappold Engineering’s people movement consultancy team, was appointed by the design team to assess and optimise the flows of people in the area surrounding Elbphilharmonie, as well as inside the venue itself.
We were tasked with analysing how the space within the venue would be used, as well as how the movement of people around the building would impact on transport and access.
Our engineers used data gathered about the spaces alongside BIM software to create a virtual environment where the concert venue people movement strategy could be tested. This predictive model informed the location of ticket counters, security gates, vertical circulation, signage, cloakrooms and the bar, which has been positioned to welcome audience members to stay in the venue once the performance has finished. The work of the Smart Space team also resulted in the decision to have timed ticket entry for the public plaza, allowing for people flow to be moderated during peak times. Sensors will allow Elbphilharmonie’s management team to review actual use and adjust where needed.
We worked with the BuroHappold transport team, Hamburg city authorities, transport planners, event organisers and car park operators to conduct a comprehensive survey of pedestrian and vehicular movements on the existing site. This study helped the client understand the impact of the operations of this new multi-function building on people and transport flows in the surrounding area.
With its distinctive form finding its home on the Hamburg skyline, Elbphilharmonie is set to become a cultural icon for the city. The Smart Space team’s human-centred approach to design has helped to create an outstanding performance space with an exceptional audience experience.
Client: Herzog & de Meuron
Architect: Herzog & de Meuron
Services provided by BuroHappold: People Flow / Space Analysis
Multi use venue is located above an exiting warehouse, and the concert hall is located on the tenth floor
The Elbphilharmonie’s three week celebratory festival opened the venue
Venue opened in January 2017 with a celebratory festival lasting three weeks
Building features a public observation deck that offers 360 degree views across the Elbe River and beyond to the city
Hamburg Elbphilharmonie is glass clad with a wave-like rooftop to mirror its waterside location