Hamburg’s new landmark rises up on the foundations of the former quayside warehouse on the Elbe: the Elbphilharmonie is probably one of the most spectacular concert halls in the world; the architecture – both inside and outside – is unique, the musical enjoyment indescribable for connoisseurs.
All good things are worth waiting for. And the Elbphilarmonie is so good that it can proudly be counted amongst the ten best concert halls in the world. The main reason for this is the unique, overwhelming acoustics in the »Grand Hall«, the heart of the newly constructed Elbphilharmonie. The architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron from the renowned architectural practice Herzog & de Meuron, Basel/Switzerland, have fine-tuned the architecture to obtain the perfect sound, in close collaboration with the world-famous Japanese acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, Nagata Acoustics. As a result of the perfect interplay of spatial geometry, materials and surface structure, the sound of the music is purposefully scattered into every corner of the concert hall.
10.287 UNIQUE PIECES OF MILLED GIFATEC
The unique interior cladding, the so-called »white skin« made from the premium material GIFAtec®, was developed by means of elaborate 3D-calculations and tests. The owner’s representative, ReGe Hamburg, commissioned the general contractor HOCHTIEF with the realisation of the gigantic construction project. Peuckert GmbH was responsible for the project management of the »white skin«. As a specialist supplier with many years of experience in 3D-machining, Hasenkopf Industrie Manufaktur manufactured 10.287 unique pieces for the 6.000 m² of »white skin« for Peuckert GmbH over a period of seven years. Further orders, such as the 3D-machined parapets made from oak and the seamless reception desks and bar counters made from Corian, followed.
More than one million shell-shaped depressions reflect the sound in every corner of the Grand Hall.
The Material Gifatec
The gypsum fibreboard GIFAtec® from Knauf Integral perfectly satisfies the requirements for a concert hall: with a density of 1500 kg / m³, the material is extremely solid, and it is also not flammable. In conjunction with the structure, this ensures particularly good acoustics. Up to five raw panels had to be glued together, in order to achieve a thickness of up to 180 mm. Around 40.000 raw panels with different thicknesses and dimensions were manufactured in total.
CAD PLANNING, CAM PROGRAMMING &
»Microshaping« is what CAD specialists call the complex calculation of the individual surface structure of the »white skin«. No panel is identical and no honeycomb structure is repeated here. The 3D CAD data was converted into machinable CNC programmes in the production planning process at Hasenkopf. The macros created comprise 352 million lines altogether. On the basis of the specified macros, the glued gypsum fibreboards were initially milled on the back – for installation on the substructure. Here, recesses for lamps, grooves for ceiling tapes or visual shadow gaps had to be taken into consideration. The milling depth of the structure is between 5 mm and 90 mm. For more than 1.5 million linear metres of milling path, more than 1.000 top-quality, diamond-tipped milling tools were used.
SCREWING, SANDING & VARNISHING
In order to achieve a perfect end result, each of the 10.287 individual components of the wall cladding, the hall ceiling and the reflector were finished by hand. Each glued panel is secured with at least four screws. U-beams on the back aid installation. After the final corrections have been made by sanding the shell-shaped depressions, all the finished unique pieces are also coated with a clear protective varnish on the front.
DOCUMENTATION & QUALITY CONTROL
Each individual component of the »white skin« was numbered and catalogued in the CAD planning process. As the individual components were only put together and installed by Peuckert GmbH on the steel substructure on-site in Hamburg, all the unique pieces had to be produced, sorted and packaged precisely to plan. Quality logs ensured that the individual steps are documented and monitored exactly at Hasenkopf – the number of defective individual components was limited to less than 20.
2.550 DAYS FROM CHALLENGE TO PROJECT COMPLETION
With the completion of the Elbphilharmonie, Hasenkopf has completed the biggest project in its company’s history. The industrial manufacturer assessed the challenge very realistically, in spite of the many uncertainties at the beginning, and overcame unforeseeable problems flexibly – until the »white skin« was finally completed after seven years. The fact that Hasenkopf was able to take part in such a unique project and tackled it successfully fills the entire team with pride and pleasure!
Facts about »white skin«
Photos: © Christian Höhn / © Josander Schück / © Hasenkopf Industrie Manufaktur