In 2000, the BMW Group launched an open architectural competition for the design of its new communication and brand center in Munich, Germany. After a long selection procedure, Coop Himmelb(l)au were chosen for their vision of streamlined, free-flowing movement and transparent communication with the outside world. At the head of the building would be two cone-shaped glass and steel structures, which created a tornado-like effect. To realize this vision, they partnered with SCHOTT to combine these eye-catching ideas with advanced safety characteristics, fire-resistant features and energy saving properties.
The ambitious double-cone unit of the structure required 900 different glass elements, including large-format triangular panes with a side length of 5.5 meters. While these panes created an esthetically stunning space, they also needed to be combined with interior glass features that enhanced the flow of light, as well as achieving optimum safety and energy efficiency standards.
The glass and steel structure of BMW Welt needed to combine beautiful esthetics and seamless functionality with unobtrusive safety characteristics. The use of SCHOTT PYRAN® fire-rated glazing provides an essential barrier against fire and smoke spreading through the building, while maintaining the important uninterrupted flow of light – transparency that’s retained in the event of a fire.
BMW commissioned a stunning double-cone structure with interior glass features for an increased feeling of space
The construction of BMW Welt required over 900 different glass elements
SCHOTT PYRAN® fire-rated glazing was used to add fire protection to transparency for safety and light flow
Strength and protection in a stunning structure
SCHOTT’s acclaimed PYRAN® fire-rated glazing provides unobtrusive, transparent protection against the spread of fire and smoke, while maintaining the essential light flow that’s essential to the building’s expansive feel. Among the many other innovations employed in the construction, a heating and cooling system in the form of water-bearing steel profiles was integrated into the glass facades. This prevented cold air losses through the glass walls in the winter, while guarding against overheating in the summer and the formation of condensation.
A testament to driving and communication
The twin-cone structure of BMW Welt is a genuinely awe-inspiring feat of architecture and engineering that’s made the building one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bavaria. Its free-flowing combination of glass and steel evokes the spirit of driving and communication, as well as a technical elegance that complements the Munich Olympiapark, its equally impressive neighboring structure.
Used materials & similar productsThis monolithic thermally tempered borosilicate glass not only provides an effective barrier against fire and smoke, but also remains transparent under severe stress. Barely noticeable joints enable seamless integration into clean, modern commercial spaces.
Global experts team up to create a European landmark
Given the size of the project, BMW Welt involved a huge number of companies, all combining their expertise to create one of Europe’s most dramatic modern structures. Taking four years to construct, it required close collaboration between SCHOTT, the architects Coop Himmelb(l)au, glass processor Josef Gartner GmbH, and a large number of other firms and consultants.
Glass made by
Coop Himmelb(l)au, Austria
Josef Gartner GmbH, Germany
Emmer Pfenninger + Partner AG, Switzerland