The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Friday, 03 November 2017 01:00cat

Hamburg’s unique Concert Hall was designed by an algorithm

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Its construction took 7 more years than originally planned and cost 10 times the initial budget, but it was worth it. Elbphilharmonie – Hamburg’s new concert hall that opened last January, is an architectural gem.

Designed by the Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron, it is the tallest building in the city and lies over Elbe River. The structure features an amazing façade, while its roof mimics the movement of waves. The newly opened concert hall can host 2,100 people and its construction cost reached 717 million euro (much more than the original 80 million budget).

The parametric design

The walls and ceilings of the auditorium —the largest of the Elbphilharmonie’s three concert halls- are covered by 10,000 unique gypsum fiber acoustic panels designed by an algorithm. Each of these sheets was individually carved using a CNC mill, while the dents are of varying depth (shallower within arm’s reach of the walkways -to reflect sound- and deeper on the back wall -to absorb echoes-), forming a giant puzzle that covers the entire hall. No two panels absorb or scatter sound waves alike, but this construction ensures optimal sound for the auditorium as the room’s geometry was taken into account by the famed acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, who worked with the two architects on the panels’ design. Benjamin Koren, founder of One to One, and developer of the algorithm says: “That’s the power of parametric design. Once all of that is in place, I hit play and it creates a million cells, all different and all based on these parameters. I have 100% control over setting up the algorithm, and then I have no more control.” And while this may be a scary prospect for some designers, Koren stands up for his choice saying that “it would be insane to do this by hand.”

Source: Wired 

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 The concert hall, seen under construction, uses interconnected, shallow balconies to surround the stage “vineyard” style. (Michael Commentz/fotobuch4you) Photo source: Washington Post 

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Photo: Mathias Hyldig/ / via pinterest


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