When Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie opens its doors on January 11, it will be among the world’s leading concert venues, thanks to its innovative architecture and outstanding acoustics. This unique project includes thirty different types of high-quality concrete made by LafargeHolcim to meet the architects’ aesthetic and technical expectations. The Group was involved in the planning 12 months before construction began in 2007 in order to share its vast experience in the delivery of challenging projects such as this one.
Designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the plans for the building called for a light-colored concrete which was produced by LafargeHolcim with a specific blast-furnace cement and using high-quality round gravel instead of crushed stone to create exquisite surface quality while reducing dust formation and improving pumpability, particularly important for stretches that exceeded 100 meters. Other concrete mixes were designed to deliver the required strength, consistency, setting properties and chemical resistance for each part of the complex design, including the building’s load bearing structural pillars which are made out of a particularly high-performance concrete.
A total of 63,000 cubic meters of concrete were delivered to the project by a consortium led by LafargeHolcim’s German subsidiary, Holcim Deutschland.
Located at a narrow point on the Elbe River, the construction site required sophisticated logistics to guarantee reliable delivery in the crowded inner city. LafargeHolcim installed a temporary ready-mix concrete plant one kilometer away from the site. Using state-of-the-art IT systems to control production and scheduling, deliveries were made around the clock, including at night and on weekends.
The Elbphilharmonie demonstrates LafargeHolcim’s ability to provide solutions for iconic projects around the world including: the Philharmonie de Paris by Jean Nouvel; the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.; and the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, designed by Santiago Calatrava.
Facts & figures about the Elbe Philharmonic Hall:
Start of construction: April 2007
Architects: Herzog & de Meuron
Total cost: EUR 865 million
Gross floor area of the entire building: approx. 120,000 square meters
Total weight of the house: approx. 200,000 tons
Two concert halls for 2,100 and 550 people
Expected number of visitors per year: more than 1.5 million
Expected number of concerts/events: 430 plus 1,500 educational events
Hotel rooms and suites: 244
Further pictures available on request.