In The Middle Of A Financial Crisis, Hamburg Is Building This Incredible $500 Million Concert Hall

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Photo: AP

Hamburg is building an enormous, 667,000 square-foot structure in the middle of its historic docklands. The hope is to compete with the big boys and become internationally recognised as a home for classical music.But in the middle of a financial crisis, can a medium-sized city like Hamburg afford it? And does it really need it?

The Elbphilharmonie is being built in the heart of Hamburg's newly regenerated docklands.

The building is due to house three concert halls, as well as a hotel, 45 private apartments and a publicly accessible Plaza with a 360° panoramic view of the city.

This image shows the unique plan for the concert theatres, which will rest on top of the brick structure with a gap that soundproofs the concert halls from the rest of the building.

Beneath the new structure is the Kaispeicher A, a historic warehouse constructed in 1966.

The main hall will contain room for 2,150 guests.

The building will also have two smaller concert halls.

The aim is to put Hamburg up with the titans of classical music, such as New York.

It's even using noted acoustic designer Yasuhisa Toyota, who refurbished the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

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However, the project is now estimated to cost five times over its $100 million budget

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This is partially as the hall was due to open in 2012 but has now been delayed til 2015 at the earliest.

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In particular, a miscalculation on the construction of the complicated roof almost derailed the entire project.

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And its critics wonder whether the project is too big for a medium-sized city like Hamburg, which has less than 2 million residents.

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