How An Algorithm Helped Design The Perfect Concert Hall

How An Algorithm Helped Design The Perfect Concert Hall

Numbers and patterns were used to create this beautifully stunning auditorium

Yi Chen
  • 16 february 2017

Hamburg, Germany recently revealed its $843 million new philharmonic with amazing architecture. What’s really impressive about the Elbphilharmonie is that its largest auditorium was created using parametric design. This process involves using complex algorithms to construct geometric patterns. This resulted not only a concert hall with the “ideal acoustic experience” but also one with stunning architecture and interesting shapes.

In the middle of the 2,150-seat hall is a suspended reflector with 1 million unique seashell-like patterns carved onto the surface. Each of the carvings was uniquely generated by algorithms and are able to absorb sound better and scatter it onto the hall’s 10,000 acoustic panels.

Concert Hall

The acoustic algorithm was created by Benjamin Koren, who told Wired that, “It would be insane to do this by hand. That’s the power of parametric design. Once all of that is in place, I hit play and it creates a million cells, all different and all based on these parameters.”



Iwan Baan | Johannes Arlt | Oliver Heissner


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