This competition-winning design houses the German Chamber of Commerce and the local Federation of Industrialists, giving Ludwid Erhard Haus both civic identity and a self-financing commercial development.
The steel-clad building is comprised of fifteen steel arches of progressively differing spans that create a ribcage that undulates in height. The unusual shape responds to exacting building restrictions while maximising use of the site.
Inside, vast, open-plan floor plates are supported by the ribcage and a series of slender, fire-resistant steel hangars, with an expansive boulevard at ground level creating a central public thoroughfare.
Its facilities are arranged along the naturally ventilated internal promenade that runs parallel to Fasanenstrasse. From the ground floor, aluminium-clad lifts soar upwards, transporting staff to the offices above. Pierced by full-height atria, all offices have spectacular views across Berlin. Below ground is the impressive stock exchange floor, also illuminated by the atria.
Realised on a tightly controlled budget, and achieving low energy consumption, running costs and pollutant emissions, this multi-purpose project has become a popular city landmark that has come to represent Berlin’s growing prosperity and optimistic spirit.
"From the street, the well-mannered glass façade, with its sun-seeking glass solar-shading louvers, hints at something extraordinary… It is only upon entering at either end of the building, however, that the quality of the internal space becomes apparent."
Hugh Pearman, Architectural Critic
The arched ribcage structure evolved from a complex initial design that involved a series of lean-to hoops at the rear and a separate butterfly-truss system along the street front.
Taking into account additional restrictions, such as rights-of-light issues, the irregularity of the site and the maximum building height line imposed by the city planners, the volume of the Ludwig Erhard Haus, as built, represents the site’s maximum commercial development envelope.
Grimshaw’s progressive eco-technical concept sets new standards…it will enhance the face of Berlin.
Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Berlin Chamber of Commerce
39,000 sq m