Architecture

„”We want architecture that offers more …  Architecture that glows, inspires and takes exciting turns.” Wolf-Dieter Prix, HIMMELB(L)AU Photo: BMW
Dr. Hans-Peter Schwanke

Glass Cone and Roof of Clouds

The landscape of adventure called
»BMW Welt« opened by the Munich-
based carmaker BMW conceals the precise realization of the most innovative of technologies behind playful reflexes.


Not only are there cars that have become classics, but also buildings. This statement is equally true for models from BMW and buildings from the architectural firm coop HIMMELB(L)AU. The prerequisites for bonding the creativity from both sides to form a strong spatial design could hardly be better. By relying on superb graphic design ideas, the concepts of speed, dynamism and the art of engineering were successfully realized in construction terms for BMW. The glassy »BMW Welt« expresses flowing and driving. The high swung, wavy roof resides on more than merely eleven pendulum supports. The main beams are the two cones that were placed on top. Impressively placed at the crossing, the futuristic looking mushroom-shaped corner post manifests the architectural-communicative starting point of the symbol that features no right angles rather obviously.
SCHOTT Pyran® was put to use in the lounge on the fourth floor. Photo: BMW
Designed for cultural events, the double cone figure consists of rustproof high-grade steel tapes and high-grade steel tins. Together with its glassy skin, it dictates the look of the car palace. The molding arises from the lower girder grid layer of the roof. 900 different glass elements had to be manufactured for this unit alone. They consist of triangular fields with a side length of five and a half meters. With the slightly tilted curtain facade of the main building, eight millimeter ESG panes were used in the lower section that is tilted inwards by ten percent. In line with the lower section, the upper section that is tilted outwardly by ten degrees consists of LSG panes.
A heating and cooling system in the shape of water-bearing steel profiles was integrated into the facade. This prevents cold air declines on the glass walls, as well as overheating in the summer and condensation. Plenty of light enters into the transparent hall through glass fronts and ceiling sections. The roof that looks as if it is flying divides the enormous room according to functions. Extended ramps full of swing, presentation areas, restaurants, service and experience areas, in part with excessive covers made of stainless steel, extend through the expressive housing. Glass from SCHOTT was used for the lounge on the fourth floor. To prevent fire flashover, internal fire protective glazing was installed here using the Pyran® steel system 363 and based on a staggered back edge seal with an additional steel component on the steel-girder construction that bears the lsg panes. The monolithic thermally tempered borosilicate glass from SCHOTT Jenaer Glas that conforms to DIN EN 13024 not only provides an effective barrier against fire and smoke, but also remains transparent, even under severe stress.

The delivery center that opened in October of 2007 is 180 meters in length, 28 meters high and up to 130 meters wide. It impressively holds its ground despite the existing BMW and Olympic buildings that face it, both classics of architectural history. Unlike these other buildings, the »BMW Welt« expresses sheer driving pleasure by taking an approach that goes beyond dry boxes and paved parking spaces.
The interior of the »BMW Welt« proves to be just as remarkable as its archi-tecture. Even the smallest detail conveys to the visitors the notion of uniqueness: Different room perspectives, an easy orientation and a maximum of comfort create a fascinating atmosphere. Photo: BMW