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Is the Elbe Philharmonic Hall (Hamburg, Germany) ugly?
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The Elbe Philharmonic Hall doesn't fit the port scenery

The glass facade does not fit the rest of the architecture of the seaport. It is too contemporary. It diverts attention from the historic landmarks and the elegant features that the town offers. The building is structurally at odds with itself and it does not fit in with the picturesque beauty of the town.

The Argument

There have been many negative views expressed regarding the Elbe Philharmonic Hall over the years. But perhaps, the most oft-quoted and commonly expressed concern is that it does not by any means blend with the port scenery. As one walks through Hamburg, they will be exposed to theatres, museums, and landmark buildings. Some of the most beautiful churches are located here and Hamburg also has more bridges in its city limits than any other city in the world.[1] However, at the very edge of the port, sits a building that seems to be completely out of tune with all of the other buildings in town. The Elbe Philharmonic Hall is perched on an old residential building. While all of the other buildings have a more traditional and red brick appearance, this one is encompassed in glass walls. Its shape is somewhat of a stark oddity. Given the cultural and historical importance of the place, as well as the other ancient landmarks and buildings that line the streets, it is no secret that the Elbe Philharmonic Hall is completely out of odds with the town. A building's beauty should not only be judged by its architectural integrity but also its cohesiveness with the surrounding environment; a criterion that this building clearly falls short of.

Counter arguments

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But, just because a certain structure or building is seemingly a little different from the scenery, does not mean that it is ugly. It simply offers an innovative visual challenge and it makes the space feel more dynamic. The towering glass structure is very different from the rest of the town, and this adds more flavor and architectural refinement to the town. It is a beautiful entwining of traditional and contemporary. If anything, Hamburg itself is representative of this idea.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Saturday, 27 Jun 2020 at 14:37 UTC