Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
Phone: +41 61 385 5757
Contribution to La Biennale di Venezia. 13. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura: Common Ground
Arsenale, Venice, Italy
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
MO_1 Public Escalator
1:20 scale working model, 520 x 97 x 130 cm, Wood, expanded polystyrene and LED lights, 2012.
MO_2 Public Plaza
1:20 scale working model, 210 x 350 x 280 cm, Wood and expanded polystyrene, 2012.
MO_3 Main Concert Hall
1:20 scale working model, 270 x 220 x 250 cm, Wood and expanded polystyrene, 2012.
AV_1 Technical Building Services
Digital 3D model of the Main Concert Hall, Computer animation, 2012.
“Improvisation” in the Main Concert Hall, performed on bassoon by Ingrid Hutter of Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, produced by Felix Meschede for Orchester 3.0 as part of Elbphilharmonie Konzerte 2011/2012, Video recorded on 29 March 2012, Courtesy of HamburgMusik. “Sequenza VIII” (1976) in the Main Concert Hall, composed by Luciano Berio, performed on violin by Barbara Bultmann of Ensemble Resonanz, Video recorded on 5 July 2012, Courtesy of ZDF/Arte and YSO Film.
Three walk-throughs of the construction site, Escalator to Plaza to Main Concert Hall, running time 7:30 min, Plaza to Main Concert Hall Balconies, running time 6:00 min, Plaza to Recital Hall to Plaza, running time 3:00 min, Videos recorded on 1 June 2012, Camera and post-production by Jean de Meuron and Tim Lüdin.
List of project collaborators in alphabetical order, 2003-2012, running time 8:20 min, 2012.
“230_CI_0604_002_WestTag.jpg” digital rendering, 2006.
Newspaper reproductions, 2003-2012, Flatbed print on paper-based corrugated honeycomb boards, Newspaper sources: Axel Springer AG: Berlin. Bild. 2007-2012; Axel Springer AG: Berlin. Die Welt. 2003, 2005-2006, 2009, 2011-2012; Axel Springer AG: Berlin. Welt am Sonntag. 2009, 2010-2012; Axel Springer AG: Hamburg. Hamburger Abendblatt. 2003-2012; Axel Springer Schweiz AG: Zürich. Handelszeitung. 2012; BV Deutsche Zeitungsholding: Berlin. Hamburger Morgenpost. 2003; Taz, Die Tageszeitung Verlagsgenossenschaft eG: Berlin. Die Tageszeitung. 2005, 2012; Druck- und Verlagshaus Frankfurt am Main: Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurter Rundschau. 2012; F.A.Z. GmbH: Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 2009-2011; F.A.Z. GmbH: Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. 2010, 2012; Gruner + Jahr AG & Co. KG: Hamburg. Financial Times Deutschland. 2010, 2012; Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG: Zürich. Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 2003; Süddeutscher Verlag: München. Süddeutsche Zeitung. 2003, 2005, 2010; Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt: Düsseldorf. Handelsblatt. 2010; Zeitverlag Gerd Bucerius: Hamburg. Die Zeit. 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010.