Another milestone towards an extraordinary acoustic is achieved: the 6,000 square metre – and worldwide unique – wall and ceiling membrane in the Great Hall of the Elbphilharmonie is finished. In addition to room geometry and materials, the so-called “Weisse Haut” is responsible for the perfect distribution of sound in the concert hall.
Important step towards opening
The design, construction, manufacturing and installation of the ceilings and wall surfaces in the Main Concert Hall, the so-called “Weisse Haut”, is one of the most complex developments for the Elbphilharmonie. Its specific surface texture plays a vital role in the acoustics of the concert hall. These highly dense and extremely heavy engineered gypsumfibre board panels reflect sound, which is then directed and scattered by the countless seashell-shaped milled depressions. Approximately 10’000 panels in total are now installed. The completion of the “Weisse Haut” is the last contractual deadline before the handover of the building later this year.
“White skin” completed by contract date
Jacques Herzog, of the Swiss architecture firm, Herzog & de Neuron that designed the concert house, said: “The distribution of sound in the concert hall is crucial to the quality of the acoustics. To this end, the geometry of the hall, the materials used and the surface structure has to match each other perfectly.” The special structure and the fluent transition between walls and ceiling give the concert hall something natural. The surface structure was developed by Herzog & de Meuron after conducting intense research into the material and doing several form studies and patterns, in close collaboration with the Japanese acoustician, Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, and implemented by Hochtief.
The vineyard principle in the grand hall creates a special closeness between audience and artists. A maximum distance of 30 metres between the conductor and the audience in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg will bring music closer than in any other concert hall worldwide.