Skip to main content
Bosch Energy and Building Solutions Global
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Building automation and indoor climate for a building of the century

The Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg – a customer of GFR, a subsidiary of Bosch Building Technologies

Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie is a spectacular building, not only on the outside, but also on the inside. The comfort of the visitors is the top priority. The technical solution was provided by GFR Gesellschaft für Regelungstechnik und Energieeinsparung mbH, a subsidiary of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions.

The glass facade sparkles from afar and the roof resembles a giant wave. The Elbphilharmonie had hardly opened its doors when it became the landmark of the Hanseatic city. The building combines three concert halls, a hotel, luxury apartments, and a public square. These areas may differ, but they all have two things in common: They place a premium on visitor comfort.

Their technical systems come from GFR, the Gesellschaft für Regelungstechnik und Energieeinsparung mbH, a subsidiary of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions. The medium-sized company headquartered in the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Verl.

GFR ensures that the Elbphilharmonie has high-quality heating and air conditioning. This is especially important in large concert halls, the company put a complex control system into place. Different temperature zones can be generated for the stage and seating areas, depending on how warm or cool it should be to optimize the acoustics for singers and instruments. The technical systems operate exceptionally quietly, in order not to detract from listener enjoyment.

The control center for the building’s technical equipment was also provided by GFR. Among other tasks, it regulates around 260 ventilators, 1,900 fire dampers, and 600 smoke exhaust and multi-leaf dampers. A total of around 648,000 metres of cable were laid in the Elbe Philharmonic Hall during the project - this is roughly equivalent to the linear distance from Munich to Hamburg.

The Elbphilharmonie’s technical center is located in the building’s peak — a superb position with a view of the Elbe River.

The Elbphilharmonie’s technical center is located in the building’s peak.

This is a superb position with a view of the Elbe River. It ensures the right air conditions for both people and musical instruments.

Room automation, air conditioning technology, building automation and technical facility management come from a single source: GFR.

The jury of the "Architects Darling Award" decided in 2018 that this was one of the "best reference projects". And GFR, which has been part of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions since October 2019, was delighted to be awarded bronze in this category.

Facts about this project

Icon chip


sensors and actuators implemented

Icon locator-tracking


communication points

Icon arrows-left-right

940,000 m³

conditioned air per hour

Building automation solutions are becoming increasingly important

Ever greater importance is therefore being attached to the best possible control and regulation of building and room functions — such as air quality. Clients focus not only on comfort, but also on areas like employee health, sustainability, environmental protection, and energy consumption. Moreover, markets are changing due to the Internet of Things.

“There are now many ways of using smart technologies to control buildings, enhance their use, and make them more energy efficient,” notes Westerheide.

Numerous types of added value arise for building owners and users.

A well-equipped office building highlights an employer’s attractiveness. Shopping centers use automated air-conditioning systems to enhance customer comfort and thereby encourage them to stay longer.
Volker Westerheide, Managing Director of GFR, the building automation company, that's now part of Bosch

“Our integrated overall solutions meet the future need for comprehensive and sustainable building automation.”

Volker Westerheide, GFR Managing Director

About GFR

GFR Gesellschaft für Regelungstechnik und Energieeinsparung mbH has been part of the Bosch Group since 2019. With some 280 associates at nine locations in Germany, the company is one of the leading suppliers of building automation systems. Its customers include planners, building installers and general contractors looking for solutions for commercial buildings.

With its broad portfolio of services and products, GFR serves many industries, including shopping centers, office buildings, hospitals and hotels. Equipping new buildings is just as much a part of its business as the refurbishment of existing properties, such as the Olympic Hall in Munich, whose technical building installations the automation specialists have renewed and converted to a modern network protocol.

The services range from project planning and engineering to the installation of automation systems, monitoring and energy management as well as professional services for 24/7 operation. This also includes GFR developing vital hardware and software itself.