The Philharmonic Concert Hall opens in West Berlin / October 15, 1963
“They opened the envelope,” Barkhofen told me, “And they saw that Scharoun had only nine votes and the other architect had ten votes. Then it is told, a little bit like a fairytale, that they discussed 12 hours and came to the solution to have Scharoun in the first place.”
Scharoun won the second-round vote after Herbert von Karajan, the famous conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, pressed the judges to choose Scharoun’s design.
The most singular and immediate characteristic that won over von Karajan and his orchestra was the building’s intimacy: no member of the audience would be more than 130 feet from the orchestra. This promised to make the musical experience communal in a way that no large space anywhere in the world had previously. ➡︎
◼︎ Love Letter to the Berlin Philharmonic / Michael Scaturro / The Atlantic / 2013