DestinAsian - - GOOD TO GO - —James Louie

It may be seven years late and three times over bud­get, but Ham­burg’s newly opened Elbphil­har­monie con­cert hall war­rants a stand­ing ova­tion for its eye- catch­ing ar­chi­tec­ture. The play­ful glass struc­ture stands atop a his­toric brick ware­house on an is­land in the Elbe, marked by an un­du­lat­ing roof and a fa­cade adorned with “melt­ing” bal­conies, dented pan­els, and bub­ble-like pro­tru­sions. From the en­trance, an 82-me­ter-long curved es­ca­la­tor leads vis­i­tors to the per­for­mance halls via a panorama win­dow on the sixth floor, while the tex­tured “white skin” in the main venue re­calls the lime­stone sur­faces of an an­cient Greek the­ater. Swiss ar­chi­tec­ture firm Her­zog & de Meu­ron made sure their de­sign wasn’t just for mu­si­cians and con­cert­go­ers: the Westin Ham­burg moved into the same build­ing last Novem­ber, and a pub­lic view­ing plat­form be­tween the old and new struc­tures makes for a unique aerie on the rein­vented port district known as HafenCity ( elbphil­har­monie.de).

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