Tune in to Hamburg for the visually delightful, acoustically advanced Elbphilharmonie. Today the building sails into its role as one of the world’s leading concert venues with a three-week festival that includes the Vienna Philharmonic, Yo-Yo Ma, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the resident NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Perched above a warehouse on the historic Sandtorhafen docks, the Herzog & de Meuron-designed project houses three performance halls, a hotel, and numerous bars and restaurants. Visitors enter on an arced 270-foot escalator through a glowing, sequin-lined tunnel and arrive at an outdoor public plaza with 360-degree city views. Among Elbphilharmonie’s high notes: its Grand Hall, which floats within the structure on giant springs for soundproofing and features an interior “skin” of 10,000 gypsum fiber panels placed to optimize sound. Steeply tiered seating surrounding its center stage ensures all attendees close proximity to the musicians. Oh, and that exposed plumbing beside your seat? Just one of the organ’s 4,765 pipes – touching is encouraged. Platz der Deutschen Einheit 1.
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