Writing Prompt Story Starter: Elbphilharmonie


I love the strange structure of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, a spectacular concert hall.

Mr Fiction Ed and I have been visiting the city for many years, so had the opportunity to track the progress of the building’s redevelopment.

Its base is an old warehouse, but as the new top part took shape we just couldn’t figure it out. It looked like a structure wrapped in bubble wrap. What was underneath?

Finally the building was finished and had a grand opening . . . and it still looked like it was bubble-wrapped!

The new glassy construction is variously described as resembling a hoisted sail, sea waves, an iceberg or quartz crystal.

What do you think? I go more with the waves option, especially given that Hamburg is Europe’s third largest port.

The best laid plans…

Funny story about the concert hall.

As I said, Mr Fiction Ed and I watched its re-development, and decided that we had to go to a concert sometime.

The concerts are fully booked way in advance, but finally we managed to get tickets to a gig by Huun-Huur-Tu, best described as Mongolian throat singers.

(We’d heard some of their unusual music in a TV Scandi drama.)

The day before the gig we checked the details of the concert…and discovered that it wasn’t in the main Elbphilarmonie at all but in a lesser hall on t’other side of town. So much for that grand plan!

It was still a wonderful gig, though, and far better suited to its alternative more intimate venue.

And we have satisfied our curiosity about the building to some extent by visiting the public areas, accessed by the world’s first arched escalators, also the longest escalators in Europe. And when you step off at the top, there’s a view that simply stops your heart for a moment.

Why have I chosen the Elbphilharmonie as a Story Starter? There’s something about the contrast of old and new; of traditional and modern; of functional and fantastic…

Over to you.

For more Writing Prompt Story Starters, click here.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.