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October 2014
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Hamburg rejuvenates itself in HafenCity

Hamburg, HafenCity © Ludovic Bischoff

The HafenCity district already offers a futuristic vision of Hamburg. Former warehouses that link the port to the city are gradually converted into offices and housing. And new buildings, each more designer than the last sprout from the ground around the Elbe canals. This ultra-bobo area welcomes families as well as a multitude of online businesses, media and communication compagnies. You shall find cute little shops like ‘the optimistic project’ and hip hotels such as ’25 hours’ (see below). But the centrepiece of HafenCity is the Elbe Philharmonic Hall: a gigantic structure erected in the place of former cocoa warehouses at the entrance to the old port, said to have become one of the city’s major icons. Unfortunately, the construction site is constantly behind schedule. Celebrated Swiss architectural firm Herzog & Meuron have had their fair share of challenges to overcome: for instance, the concert hall should offer an acoustic atmosphere that block out the foghorns of colossal cruise liners that come in and out of the port! The inauguration of the building has already been pushed back almost a dozen times. As for the budget, it is rumoured that the initial 67 million euros shall be transformed into almost 700 million, creating the most beautiful (and without a doubt the most expensive!) concert hall in the world. End date scheduled for 2017…


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