Designed by algorithm

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany

My Reading Room

The Elbphilharmonie just opened it doors for the first time in January. The outer façade of the building is astonishing in itself, with a wavy glass exterior sitting on top of solid concrete, but it’s the central auditorium that’s a marvel of science and art.

The auditorium’s interiors are lined with 10,000 acoustic panels, each one designed by an algorithm, each one uniquely different. One million ‘cells’ altogether are carved onto the panels to shape sound, their unique shapes give the panels the appearance of seashells. 

Programmed according to the auditorium’s optimal soundscape, the algorithm designed each panel to either absorb or deflect sound. Combined together, the 10,000 panels create ideal acoustics across the entire auditorium. 

Text: Alvin Soon / Picture: Iwan Baan

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