After 13 years and $834 million, Germany have themselves the world’s first perfect auditorium

Wave-shaped facades, curved elevators and continuous stairs describe the flawless structure that is the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, Germany.

With 10,000 acoustic panels covering the ceiling, walls, balustrades at a cost of $834 million, the focus of the perfectly designed auditorium is for an unbeatable sound.


The one million divots that remain within the 10,000 panels have been carefully designed to literally “shape” the sound waves flowing throughout the auditorium.

Herzog and De Meuron, a Swiss architectural firm, worked hand-in-hand with One to One studio to achieve a structure mirroring a coral reeds that would allow a completely balanced sound.

When a sound wave hits the uneven surface of the panel, a balanced reverb is created through either absorption of the sound wave, or it being scattered around the auditorium. The divots are anywhere from four to 16 centimetres, with the divots near the back of the walls growing larger in size, in order to absorb any echoes. The panels around the ceiling and balustrade are much shallower.

And against all odds it magically ties together, creating perfect geometry.


Famous acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota worked with the designers to achieve a mind-blowing concoction of balanced acoustics and flawless design, with Benjamin Koren from One to One developing a formula that would result in a different shape for each panel.

The auditorium has 2150 seats in total, with 1000 hand-blown lightbulbs dwindling gracefully above.

One of the main aims of The Elbphilharmonie was not only consistency, but for consistency to work hand-in-hand with beauty; aiming for an auditorium that would captivate audiences with its aesthetically pleasing qualities. The off-white, spaceship-like auditorium is an example of how technology can turn a 13-year plan into a dream-like reality.