Not just a mirror on the wall in the Elbphilharmonie

In Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, TV mirror displays with semi-transparent MIRONA® mirrored glass are creating magical moments.



Rising up from the foundations of quay warehouse built in 1875 at the western tip of Hamburg’s “Hafencity” is a new glass building with a daringly shaped roofscape.

The curvaceous glass facade of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie is like a wave suspended 110 meters above the River Elbe. Glass, as a highly versatile material, has inspired not only the exterior architecture of this fascinating concert hall.
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The Elbphilharmonie, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, is stunningly styled, bursting above the skyline like a firework.

A key task for the interior of this impressive building was to achieve architectural accents that also delight onlookers. A concept was required for stylish TV displays throughout the building to serve both as information displays and as decorative design elements.
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The Hamburg Elbphilharmonie building from the outside
The Hamburg Elbphilharmonie building from the outside
Astonishment is probably the most fitting word to describe how viewers experience this superlative of architectural design.

32 circular TV mirror displays with diameters of 90, 140 or 169 cms have been developed to produce a stunning interior effect. Hanging from various walls throughout the building, the porthole-like objects incline towards visitors and seem to give views into new spaces.

The TV mirror displays produce unexpected effects – first as mirrors, then as screens for transmitting information. Such interplay is literally double edged. The basis of the design is the semi-transparent MIRONA® mirror glass from SCHOTT. A passe-partout has been printed on the rear to conceal the profile of a TV display unit.

The dual-coated mineral glass acts like a mirror when the display unit behind the glass is turned off. When on, interference layers allow light rays from images on the display to be transmitted through the glass, which then instantly becomes an information screen for concert goers, e.g. as guidance systems or displaying the schedule of events.

“The interplay between reflection and transmission is enthralling and enables an ingenious use of space and objects”, says Moritz Busch, Sales Manager of Processed Glass at SCHOTT and the
person responsible for the project.

SCHOTT realized the concept for the Elbphilharmonie in partnership with Cristalux, a specialist for glass applications from Kirchberg, and worked on behalf of the Amptown System Company, Hamburg (ASC).

ASC undertook installation of the media systems and specialist equipment in the Elbphilharmonie. They opted for special 10 mm MIRONA® glass panels for the TV mirror displays. The edges of the tempered safety glass have C-edge grindings. “With the Elbphilharmonie, we have been able to gain a prestigious project for concealed TV applications. In future, we would like to work more intensively in markets where we can apply MIRONA®”, added Busch.

The aha effect when switching between mirrored and translucent glass makes MIRONA® an option for many technical applications ranging from information displays and furniture installations through to decorative partitioning walls. SCHOTT offers five different product variants in various sizes and thicknesses.