The Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg: a beacon of culture and concrete

16 June 2015

A new cultural landmark is rapidly rising in the port of the Hanseatic city of Hamburg: the Elbe Philharmonic Hall. LafargeHolcim is helping to make this spectacular meeting place for music lovers a reality thanks to its wealth of experience and over 30 different types of concrete.


At the tip of the Kaiserkai in the port of Hamburg, a project is coming into being that is great in every sense. Work is pushing ahead at full steam on this massive building site. The Elbe Philharmonic Hall will soon tower to a height of 110 meters and span over 5,800 square meters. 

Where cocoa beans were once off-loaded, one of the world's premiere concert venues, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, is being erected. The Elbe Philharmonic Hall was designed by the world-famous Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as part of an ambitious urban expansion project, HafenCity Hamburg, that will showcase culture.  In this setting, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall stands for a combination of past and present and a departure to a new cultural future. 

LafargeHolcim’s scope of work

As careful planning is essential to ensuring the success of a project on this scale, LafargeHolcim was involved in planning one year before construction began. LafargeHolcim has supplied the following:

  • Over 30 types of top-quality concrete, all of which differ in firmness, consistency, setting properties and resistance to erosion. Facing concrete accounts for about one third of total volume.
  • Blast furnace cement, which adds high-quality round gravel instead of crushed stone, for the facing concrete. This provides a light-colored concrete surface, reduces dust, optimizes the surface quality, and improves pumpability over stretches of more than 100 meters.

In 2007, LafargeHolcim opened a concrete plant in HafenCity to provide materials specifically for the Elbe Philharmonic Hall project. Located just one kilometer away from the HafenCity urban development area, the plant shortened transport routes, thereby reducing emissions related to transport and providing excellent delivery and reliability regardless of the traffic situation in the city of Hamburg.

LafargeHolcim has been part of the project between 2008 and 2010. As of December 2014, construction work is scheduled to end in October 2016 at a cost of €789 million, with an announced opening date of 12 January 2017.