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  • Kulturbranche - Philharmonie Berlin
  • Berliner Philharmonie
  • Philharmonie

The Philharmonie is a showpiece of the organic architectural style. The building, which was very controversial at the beginning, is now a model for concert halls all over the world.

Hans Scharoun's Philharmonie was the first building within the framework of the Kulturforum Berlin. It was preceded by a design competition for the site of today's Freie Volksbühne near Bundesallee. However, when a relocation to the southern edge of the Tiergarten was considered, Scharoun outlined the plan for a cultural forum, abandoning the old street layout.

Architect Hans Scharoun and the Philharmonie

The Philharmonie is considered to be Hans Scharoun's main work and a prime example of organic architecture. Each building was to develop "organically" outward from its inner use without a formal corset. This approach, specifically tailored to the individual building commission in question, earned Scharoun and the Philharmonie a great deal of criticism from architecture critics. Unlike Mies van der Rohe's buildings, for example, the Philharmonie could not become educational, and as a "unique specimen that could not be typified," it did not point the way for the further reconstruction of West Germany.

Interior Architecture

With his plans for the Philharmonie, Scharoun wanted "to give an appropriate form to a place intended for making music and experiencing music together". The traditional form of stage and auditorium was out of the question. Instead, Scharoun placed the orchestra at the center of the spatial structure of his concert hll, which is constructed of pentagons twisted into one another. From the the orchestra podium, the lowest point of the concert hall, the auditorium tiers rise in terraces - like a vineyard - almost to below the tent-like sagging roof, whose shape also determines the exterior structure.

A Maze of Staircases and Passages

Under the concert hall is the foyer, in whose bizarre maze of stairs and corridors many a music lover has gotten lost. With the Philharmonie's dynamism and complexity, Scharoun set a clear example against the buildings with simple grids and minimized paths that were typical of the time.

Exterior Architecture and Surroundings

From the outside, the Philharmonie looks like the bow of a ship, a motif frequently used by Scharoun. The cladding of yellow anodized aluminum panels was not installed until 1978-81; previously the building had been painted ocher. In 1978-84, Edgar Wisniewski's Musical Instrument Museum was built to the northeast according to plans by Scharoun, who died in 1972, and in 1984-88 the Chamber Music Hall was built according to a sketch of ideas by Scharoun and exact designs by Wisniewski.

Concerts and Tickets

  • Sat08/02/202520:00 Uhr
  • Mon09/12/202420:00 Uhr
  • Mon20/01/202520:00 Uhr
    Kat Frankie Konzert Bodies

    Philharmonie Berlin

  • Sat04/01/202515:00 Uhr
  • Sun22/12/202415:00 Uhr
  • Fri06/09/202420:00 Uhr
  • Thu26/09/202420:00 Uhr
  • Thu05/06/202520:00 Uhr
  • Thu24/10/202420:00 Uhr
  • Thu06/03/202520:00 Uhr

Information, Address and Opening Hours

Map view

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Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1
10785 Berlin
Limited accessibility due to preservation order. Wheelchair-accessible entrances at the Potsdamer Platz entrance, south entrance, west entrance and east entrance. Handicapped parking spaces on Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße.
Admission Fee
Different fees depending on the concert
Guided Tours
Daily guided tours at 1:30 pm in German and English. No reservation necessary. Tickets available from 12 noon at the meeting point (€5, reduced fee €3, free for students).

Public transportation

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Last edited: 13 January 2023