Complex Curved Glass for Hamburg’s Landmark

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg (DE)

Tradition meets modern at the Elbe Philharmonic Concert Hall, the emblem for Hamburg’s Hafen City. It is a glazed building that was built over the footprint of a 1960s-era warehouse. Architects Herzog & de Meuron carried out the design work.


In all, the glass façade employs insulated panels totalling 21,800sqm. Of those, approx. 5,000sqm comprises curved, silver glossy double-glazed units (DGU). The roughly 500 spherically curved panes were initially printed and coated before being bent at approx. 550°C to a precise specification. Each pane is a one-off, as the architects calculated the necessary thickness of individual pieces throughout the overall pattern to fit the intended use of the space.


One of the challenges of the bending process was to avoid scorching the coating on the glass. The effect is one of a lively, unique façade that reacts through light effects to its surroundings and the ambient light.


For the entrance area, sunglass industry supplied panes 6.0m high in wave form. Each 2.7m wide curved pane weighs about 1,000kg and can be partially opened. Laminated safety glass panes 24mm thick were installed consisting of 2 plies of 12mm thick glass and a PVB interlayer.

  • Glass type / ShapeSafety glass / Free form
  • Glass make-upDGU, 2 plies of 12 mm, laminated, PVB interlayer
  • Quantity / Total area500 pcs. / 5,000 sqm
  • Max. Size6.0 m
  • SpecialitySilver fritting
  • ©Maxim Schulz