Philharmonie.gif (2031 bytes)
PHILHARMONIE-C0061-1.jpg (59248 bytes)

Matthaikirchstrasse 1

The Philharmonie was the first of a series of buildings which would create a ‘kulturforum’ (later to include the Kammermusiksaal, Staatsbibliothek, and Neue Nationalgalerie) in an area of Berlin leveled during World War II. The site of the Kulturforum was near the former center of Berlin and was adjacent the the Berlin Wall. As such, it represented the power and (cultural and economic) wealth of the west, but simultaneously was intended by Scharoun to be the seed of a cultural center for a reunited Berlin.

The Philharmonie itself is considered a masterpiece of sculptural, expressionistic modernism. Its form derives from the unusual and acclaimed configuration of the concert hall, in which the stage is surrounded on all sides by the audience. The rows of seats are further broken up into tiered blocks, creating a condition in which the concert-goer is made to acknowledge both performance and audience in new ways. As the audience is made acutely aware of its physical location during a performance, changes in level generated by the theater configuration are played-out sculpturally and spatially in the public areas outside the theater itself. The exterior is designed not as a facade in the classical sense, but portrays a building designed from the inside-out.


PHILHARMONIE-C0062-2.jpg (24898 bytes)

Jay Berman 1999
Updated 2008


How to visit

The Philharmonie is south of the Tiergarten and west of Potsdamer Platz. It is next door to the Kammermusiksaal.

Ubahn/Sbahn: S1, S2, U2

Station: Potsdamer Platz

Books and other web sites

Click the book title to view and to order direct from


3764355816_m.gif (8794 bytes) Hans Scharoun

J. Christoph Burkle
Hans Scharoun: Buildings in Berlin

Peter Blundell Jones, Michael Kaplan (Photographer)

Stereo (3-D) photography of the Philharmonie and Staatsbibliothek, on three View-Master reels (requires View-Master stereo viewer), bringing the buildings to life like no conventional photography can

The Philharmonie is the home of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. For details of their own and other performances in the Philharmonie, visit their English-language web site at

All links outside galinsky will open in a new window. Close it when you've finished, or use the Window menu on your browser, to return to galinsky.


   Welcome    |    About galinsky    |    Contact/contribute    |    Architects    |    Europe    |    North America    |    Travel packs

   copyright © galinsky 1998-2008. e-mail