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Major concert hall and architectural landmark
Hovering over the river Elbe in HafenCity [seen entry] — Hamburg's industrial harbour area, still undergoing interesting reinvention — is this city's most exciting new architectural project of the new century. Orignially scheduled for completion in 2012 but not opened until January 2017, the ambitious project (near €800,000 in costs) promises not only one of the world's most acoustically advanced and cleverly designed concert halls, but also a plaza with unique panoramic views of the harbour and Hamburg from a height of 37 metres. Perched on top of an old warehouse, the sculpted, glass building (nicknamed Elphie) is designed by Swiss team Herzog & de Meuron (London's Tate Modern, Beijing National Stadium), with acoustics by Yasuhisa Toyota. Very much worth a look, especially in anticipation of its near-guaranteed status as an iconic symbol of Hamburg. The renowned NDR Sinfonieorchester (now renamed NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra) left the Laeiszhalle [see entry] to establish itself as the venue's orchestra-in-residence. The eight-floor Plaza is open 9am—midnight daily. Same-day tickets are free but incur a fee if booked online. Advance tickets are available for purchase up to 18 weeks prior to visit.