An armadillo in City West:
Ludwig-Erhard-Haus

Nicholas Grimshaw (*1939) and Partners

Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners, Modell Ludwig-Erhard-Haus, 1991–1997
© Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners

Ludwig-Erhard-Haus, seat of Berlin’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce, is known affectionately to Berliners as the “armadillo”. 15 sturdy arches create a ribbed corpus with a grey skin of steel that bears an uncanny resemblance to the small inhabitant of South America. On the Fasanenstrasse side, however, the city insisted on a straight external wall: the original design by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners had not observed the bylaws about preserving street edges and eaves heights.

The Berlinische Galerie holds no fewer than five working models illustrating ideas by Nicholas Grimshaw (*1939) that were not followed up. This white, finely worked model reveals a dually curved design. The unconcealed support structure consists of broad, parallel arches  They permit exhibition spaces and office floors with no need for additional columns.

Ludwig-Erhard-Haus
1991 – 1997
Erweiterungsbau Industrie- und Handelskammer Berlin
Work model
Cardboard, paper, Kapa plate
20 x 60 x 30 cm
Schenkung des Architekten, 2001

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