With a focus on music venues, Mark #66 is honoured to finally bring you the completed Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. After an agonizing ten years of tears, sweat and delays, it is here in all of its shiny glory. Starchitects Jacques Herzog and Pierre De Meuron unveil their masterpiece which has notoriously divided the opinions of critics. The glass crown of 1100 individual glass panes extrudes from the footprint on an old warehouse building – you certainly wouldn’t want to be the window cleaner responsible for this one.

Massimiliano Fuksas doesn’t care about the critics, though. Studio Fuksas has completed the Convention Centre in Rome (another project plagued by interruptions and escalating costs). Central to the project – and the star of this issue’s cover – is ‘the Cloud’,  with its exposed steel construction playing on the juxtaposition between the strength of the structure and the lightness of the namesake that inspired its form.

It’s not always so obvious when a project takes a long time, however, as Mark discovers from talking to Masahiro Harada of Mount Fuji Architects Studio. ‘Parents are the most difficult kind of clients an architect can have,’ he remarks, after eleven years of working on a residential project that eventually managed to accommodate the tastes of both of his parents.

In other news: Toyo Ito tells us why the realization of the National Taichung Theatre – a design inspired by a sponge and a jellyfish – is something of a miracle; the story of revived ruin in the Scottish countryside highlights architecture’s ‘capability to lift people’; and Space Group proves that quality is not always better than quantity.

Order your copy of Mark #66 here.