The LEZ extends across two buildings: the house where Ludwig Erhard was born and the new building directly opposite.
Ludwig Erhard was born and grew up in the building at 5 Ludwig-Erhard-Straße (formerly Sternstraße 5) in the middle of Fürth’s Old Town in 1897. Ludwig Erhard’s father Wilhelm Erhard ran a draper’s shop on the ground floor while the family lived on the stories above. The complex comprises several buildings that open out onto an idyllic inner courtyard. The main building along what is today Ludwig-Erhard-Straße and the courtyard house with its façade facing Gartenstraße date back to around 1720. The courtyard building was connected to the main building on the south-western side, a two-story timber-framed construction with a mansard roof, which arose in the second half of the 18th century. In 1853, a second upper floor was added to the main building. The sandstone facade in classical style, which still adorns the building today, was added to the building with rustic side wall panels and an elaborately designed fascia. The cast-iron semi-columns and neo-Renaissance-style framing, which emphasizes the shop front on the ground floor in decorative fashion, has also survived.
Being an authentic location, the house of Erhard’s birth is at the same time the most important exhibit at the LEZ. For the design, it was therefore important to conserve the surviving historic building, including its interior, and to integrate it into the exhibition architecture. Today this heritage-protected and elaborately refurbished house constitutes the heart of the LEZ. Besides the office area, it houses the Café Luise in the Erhard family’s former draper’s shop and the first section of the permanent exhibition.
The house where Ludwig Erhard was born in the change of time
The new building directly opposite is completely different to the house of his birth with its small rooms. The two exhibition floors act as a spacious backdrop for an exciting exhibition concept. Large, subtly positioned window apertures make references to its location as his birthplace as well as the surrounding historic construction. The new building was constructed on fallow land next to Fürth Town Hall. The row of houses that was located there were removed in 1995 during construction of the city’s subway system. An architecture competition was launched for the construction of the new LEZ building in 2013/2014, with first prize going to Reinhard Bauer Architects, Munich. The minutes from the jury meeting emphasize how successfully the building was integrated into Fürth’s old town and its reference to the existing historical construction. The project, which was the first winner in the “National Urban Construction Projects” investment program from the German Ministry for the Interior, Construction and Home (BMI) was funded to the amount of six million euros.
The new building houses the museum reception area with cash desk and shop, the second part of the permanent exhibition and an area for special exhibitions. There are spacious event areas both in the foyer and on the 3rd upper story with a recessed balcony and inner courtyard.