“Window Waltz”: a musical New Year’s greeting from the window cleaners of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
With a glass façade of 16,000 square metres and some 1,100 patterned window panes, many of which are individually curved, the Elbphliharmonie has set entirely new architectural standards. And this applies especially to the spectacular glass construction by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, which towers above the Elbphilharmonie’s historic red-brick base like a crystal wave. Little wonder that cleaning the large-scale glass façade – which, depending on the perspective, reflects the water of the Elbe, or the sky and the city – is a special challenge. It takes about three weeks for a team of eight industrial climbers to clean the entire glass façade of the concert hall. Performing their work at a height of up to 110 metres, ropes at a length of 2 kilometres are required for rappelling and safety.
A New Year’s greeting video published by the Elbphilharmonie today demonstrates that the window cleaners of Hamburg’s new landmark not only have a head for heights but also a sense for music: inspired by their unique workplace, four of the industrial climbers enter into dialogue with a violinist inside the building and put their equipment into action against the concert hall’s 48 millimetre-thick glass façade. Using their squeegees as instruments, they mimick the sound of violins and produce percussive sounds with their telescopic rods and their sponge wipers – creating a truly unprecedented version of the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss.
Industrial climber Steffen Falkenberg is thrilled with the Elbphilharmonie’s unique location at the interface of the city centre and the port, with water on three different sides: “Working onsite the Elbphilharmonie is not just special because of the building’s huge popularity. The building’s unique architectural features and its exposed location make climbing and rappelling quite challenging, especially since wind conditions vary depending on which façade you are working on. More importantly, though: the view over the city and the port is simply amazing!”
One-of-a-kind music experiences and spectacular views: the official opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in January 2017 attracted worldwide attention, and ever since then the Elbphilharmonie has been open for everyone to experience. Inside the building, guests can enjoy top-class music performances across all genres, and tickets continue to be sold out quickly. The spectacular panoramic view from the Plaza, the public viewing platform at a height of 37 metres, has been enjoyed by some 4.5 million visitors in the first year alone. More: www.elbphilharmonie.de.
More tourist information on Hamburg and hotel booking for the city: www.hamburg-travel.com
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg – Window Waltz:
Media Service / Notes to the editor:
Further information and resources on the “Window Waltz” video:
- making-of video: https://youtu.be/6AJcZ0dVDoQ
- photo attached: royality free for editorial use, photo: „Elbphilharmonie Hamburg - Window Waltz / Christopher Koch“
- more photos: https://www.elbphilharmonie.de/en/press/windowwaltz
- iframe: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q-k3TtG9JTQ" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
- Media Service for the Elbphilharmonie: https://www.elbphilharmonie.de/en/press
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