German Ivory Museum 

Floating Exhibits

Through the passion for travelling and collection of Count Franz‘ I. zu Erbach- Erbach (1754-1823), the Odenwald town of Erbach became the center of German ivory carving and had exhibited its extensive collections at the Werner Borchers Halle for many years. The latter has been closed down towards the end of 2015.

As of autumn 2016, a small but exquisite part of the ivory sculptures have found a new home in the Erbach Palace. The remarkable exhibition concept of Sichau & Walter Architects BDA frees itself from the building envelope and presents the collection in darkened rooms with spatial boundaries sprayed in anthracite.

Showcases of partially frosted glass with edge light

The show case glass panes‘ lower third is frosted and fitted with edge light integrated in the base. The sanding dissolves smoothly into clear glass. By virtue of the edge light the frosting assumes a gentle brightness evocative of a haze that shrouds the object holders. Furthermore, small profiles with miniature projectors are installed in the upper corners of the show cases.

The miniature projectors stage the exhibits in an accentuating and glare-free fashion. Larger display cases make use of an alternating layout of spot and medium optic luminaires. This creates the impression that luminous figurines emerge from a sort of haze. The converters for both, the frosted glass edge light and the miniature projectors are remote and stored in an accessible void in the show case‘s plinth.

Showcase Lighting


Making all of the valuable and exquisite characteristics of the displayed item visible, presenting the item in all its glorious detail, and drawing the viewer’s attention to it. Those diverse requirements demand a wide range of tools with finest lighting technology. It is essential to reproduce the materiality, haptic and colour authenticity of art objects as closely as possible to elevate their value. NANO+ and the associated product families of INEO, PICO, PICO SUPPORT, MICRO and JUST were developed especially for the glare-free use in shelves and display cases and the CRI value of 95 makes this system perfect for using it in premium sales areas or art scenes.

Multiple Award Winner

2019  Winner Indoor Lighting
LAMP Lighting Solutions Awards
2018 Award winner museums
Der Deutsche Lichtdesign-Preis
  Radiance Award
IALD International Lighting Design Awards
International Association of Lighting Designers
  Award of Excellence
IALD International Lighting Design Awards
International Association of Lighting Designers
  Winner Integration Project of the Year
Lighting Design Awards
2017 Commendable Achievement – Exhibition Lighting & Temporary Installations
A|L Light & Architecture Design Awards
  Winner Places Best Interior Lighting Scheme Low Budget
darc awards / architectural
  Lighting Design Special Mention
Codega International Lighting Design Place


Photographer: Sichau & Walter Architekten BDA
Video: 2018 International Association of Lighting Designers
Architect: Sichau & Walter Architekten BDA
Lighting Design: Licht Kunst Licht AG