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The BMW Welt - Trendsetting Architecture for Munich

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4. The BMW Welt. Trendsetting Architecture for Munich.

The striking Double Cone and the “Cloud Roof” hovering in space – these are the characteristic features of the BMW Welt.
This unique building is one of the first examples of a new generation of communication buildings for the 21st century, open architecture and the transparent, complex glass facade quite literally bathing the interior in bright light and opening up the building to its surroundings.
At the same time the BMW Welt merges smoothly and harmoniously into the overall architectural context of the Munich Olympic Park and the existing BMW buildings. “In the planning process we sought in particular to create a building structure with outstanding architecture, design and organisational layout, at the same time representing the unique world of BMW and offering a first-hand experience of this unparalleled environment. Together with the BMW Museum and our original plant in Munich, the BMW Welt rounds off the overall experience of BMW and invites neighbours, visitors and customers from all over the world to experience and quite literally feel the brand, the Company and our products”, states Dr Herbert Grebenc, the man responsible for the construction of the BMW Welt in his position as BMW’s Director of Facility and Property Management.
The BMW Welt comes right in the foreground of a number of buildings through which the Company has been setting standards in architecture for more than 30 years. Apart from the BMW Museum, particularly the BMW Building constructed in 1972 at the same time as the Munich Olympic Stadium with its fascinating tent roof and soon referred to by the local popu­lation as the “Four-Cylinder Building”, was acknowledged from the very beginning as an outstanding symbol of dynamism, clear orientation to the future, and significant progress in technology.
The BMW Building has been protected as a national monument ever since 1999 and has been acknowledged for a long time as one of the landmarks of the City of Munich. And now, creating the BMW Welt, the BMW Group is estab­lishing another highlight in urban architecture appealing particularly to all visi­tors to the State Capital of Bavaria with a strong penchant for architecture, technology, design, and innovation.


The architectural concept of the BMW Welt.
Through its truly outstanding architectural concept, the BMW Welt reflects both function and design in one. As an example, the “Cloud Roof” measuring 16,500 m2 or 177,500 ft2 rising out of the striking Double Cone and borne by only 11 pendulum pillars creates the impression as if it were literally hover­ing in space.
This particular look is ensured inter alia by the deliberate deformation of the lower roof bearing frame extending out of the Double Cone and thus forming one of the main supports for the roof.
In the words of Professor Wolf D. Prix, the architect responsible for the design and creation of the BMW Welt and a co-founder of the renowned architects’ office COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, this particular concept was developed in an ongoing process of refinement:“While the first drafts still incorporated a large number of pillars and supports, we reduced this number consistently in the course of time in order to come closer to the philosophy of a cloud hovering in space. As it is now, the par­ticular shape and design of the roof emphasises and accentuates the free-hovering, flying character of the building. In this process the roof does not distinguish, let alone dominate, the space occupied by the building, but rather sets it apart from everything else. And although it would naturally be difficult to build architecture as a cloud, the sheer diversity of functions reflected in and through the diversity of forms comes very close to the concept of a cloud in the sky.”This is borne out, for example, by the filigree steel facade also serving to ensure efficient climate control within the BMW Welt. “The harmonious com­bination of architecture, the most modern technology and optimum use of resources was a fundamental consideration in the planning process. Pre­cisely this is why we use natural resources consistently – either directly or indirectly – in operating the BMW Welt”, states Dr. Herbert Grebenc.
Solar energy entering the building through the roof and facades, for example, is used specifically to provide the necessary warmth within the BMW Welt. Glass shell surfaces, in turn, ensure a comfortable surface temperature through their consistently low heat transition coefficients, while the floor and, to a certain extent, the roof structures enhance the ability of the building to retain appropriate temperatures at all times. Ventilation of the building is also ensured by the large wall surfaces, the green areas at the outside, particularly around the natural vent units, serving to hold back dust and, in part, providing an appropriate cooling effect without any undue exchange of heat.
In its design, philosophy and location, the BMW Welt responds appropriately to its demanding urban environment. Standing out as a further major land­mark within the overall context of the city between the Olympic Stadium, the BMW Museum and the BMW Building, the BMW Welt is a highlight of attrac­tion defining urban spaces now made accessible to the public.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2007 16:50  

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