Herzog & de Meuron designs Westin Hamburg

Starwood Hotels is opening the Westin Hamburg in the Elbe Philharmonic complex. The 10-story, 205-room Westin Hamburg Hotel, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is due to open in October 2016.

The Elbe Philharmonic complex, built around a historical warehouse on the banks of the river Elbe and also designed by Herzog & De Meuron, will include three concert halls, 45 private apartments and a 4,000-square-meter (43,055-square-foot), publicly-accessible plaza with a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.

The centerpiece of the Elbe Philharmonic complex will be a concert hall that will be 50 meters (164 feet) tall, with seating for 2,100 people. The audience will be seated on all sides of the stage, with seating rising up in interwoven tiers. Yasuhisa Toyota developed a special material, known as the White Skin, for the acoustics of the place. The design will also includes 10,000 gypsum fiber panels composed of a mixture of natural plaster and recycled paper.


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The former warehouse that the complex is built around, known as the Kaispeicher A, was designed by Werner Kallmorgen. It was constructed between 1963 and 1966 on the site of the original neo-Gothic Kaispeicher, built in 1875 and almost totally destroyed in World War II. The Kaispeicher A was gutted and renovated as part of the project, and will house the spa facilities and conference rooms of the hotel. The entrance to the former warehouse will be reached via an 82-meter (269-foot) escalator with a concave arch. It will also include glass sequins to reflect and refract the lights.

Set in contrast to the original brick facade of the Kaispeicher A, the glass facade of the Elbe Philharmonic complex (completed in January 2014) consists of 1,100 individual panes, each measuring four meters to five meters wide, and more than three meters high. The viewing plaza lies at the top of the Kaispeicher A and beneath the new building. The hotel lobby, a cafe and access to the foyers of the new concert halls will also be located there. 

The entire development's 7,000-square-meter (75,347-square-foot) roof will consist of eight spherical, concavely bent sections that will form a curving silhouette, and will also include 6,000 giant sequins that add to the shimmering effect.

The Westin Hamburg will include a Westin WorkOut fitness center, an indoor swimming pool and a 1,200-square-meter (12,917-square-foot) spa.

While the hotel is due to open in October 2016, and the public plaza will be accessible from November 2016, the Elbe Philharmonic will be officially inaugurated in January 2017.

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