herzog & de meuron 13th international architecture exhibition
herzog & de meuron 13th international architecture exhibition herzog & de meuron 13th international architecture exhibition
sep 01, 2012

herzog & de meuron 13th international architecture exhibition

‘elbphilharmonie’ by herzog & de meuron at the venice biennale image © designboom



swiss duo herzog & de meuron are exhibiting models of their ongoing project ‘elbphilharmonie’ in hamburg, germany at the 2012 venice biennale. selecting the construction site as a common ground of diverging interests, this specific example has been identified as an example of construction as an often-time battleground within the architectural field.  as a bottom-up democratic project, the concert hall epitomizes political, budgetary and ideological debates within the city. escalating building costs and prolonged construction led to a temporary halt on building in november 2011. after this motion, the client (city of hamburg and ReGe), the general contractor and architect initiated a process to resolve their three conflicting interests to move forward.


the arsenale’s exhibit includes a backdrop of newspaper clippings beginning with its inception in 2003 as well as three large-scale models which are displayed to highlight the architectural moments occurring inside the unfinished structure. the 1:20 scale models are made from wood and expanded polystyrene. see designboom’s coverage during schematic design and in its nearly completed state.

suspended model of public escalator measures 520 x 97 x 130 cm image © designboom

visitors may peer into the model to see the esdcalators illuminated with LEDs image © designboom

interior view of escalators image © designboom

escalator model with suspended model of the main concert hall beyond image © designboom

suspended model of the main concert hall image © designboom

section cutaway model of the concert hall image © designboom

model measures 270 x 220 x 250 cm image © designboom

interior of the concert hall image © designboom

a timeline of newspaper clippings beginning with the project’s inception in 2003 image © designboom

newspaper clippings from 2006 and 2012 image © designboom

public plaza model measures 210 x 350 x 280 cm image © designboom

view through the plaza – surface of table represents the top of the former warehouse in which the new structure rests upon image © designboom

stairs leading into the building image © designboom



the architects’ statement:


the history of the elbphilharmonie is an almost incredible example of a bottom-up democratic project, informed with euphoric energy, driven by architectural beauty, cultural-political vision, and civic pride. this energy exhausted itself in the face of exploding building costs and seemingly endless prolonged construction, culminating in a temporary building stop in november 2011. the large-scale construction site increasingly mutated into a battlefield involving the three main players: the client (the city of hamburg, and its representative ReGe), the general contractor, and the architect/general planner. ideally, the construction site of every building project is a platform of interaction that engages these three main forces; in this case, it relentlessly exposed conflicting interests and requirements. the story of the elbphilharmonie provides, as an example, an insight into the extremes that mark the reality of planning and building today.


our installation for the biennale presents the project without taking a stand or attempting to analyze the complexities of its evolution. the only comments provided are uncensored press reports, demonstrating that this project has been a focus of public interest and ongoing debate for years. the installation includes representations of the complex building services; camera shots walking through the construction site; and large-scale models, whose spatial and physical presence represent what the architects wished and still wish to foreground: architecture. — herzog & de meuron, august 2012


  • This is actually super fun looking and the type of project I had to do in undergrad!! Yay to maintaining that creativity alive 🙂

    GlowyPR says:

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