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    Coop Himmelb(l)au's BMW World

    by Terri Peters

    Like its competitors, BMW knows that cool sells. And there is no doubt that BMW Welt — the German motor company's new sales, exhibition, and event center in Munich — is cool.

    Its complex geometry was inspired by cloud formations — a dramatic touch by experimental Austrian architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au. A double-cone spiral form overlooking the motorway looks ready to spin off its foundations. And the facade, designed as a modified post-and-steel system, leans 10 degrees off the vertical, giving a sense of drama.

    Even the conference auditorium is cool. The "Forum" cantilevers 20 meters (66 feet) from the body of the building, with a James Bond-style acoustic wall that emerges silently from the floor to separate it from the grand hall.

    Spaces Like Clouds

    BMW Welt stands across from three existing BMW buildings: the company headquarters, main production plant, and museum, the latter with its well-known four-cylinder form. The nearby 1972 Olympic Stadium, with its tensile roof by Frei Otto, now has as neighbor another uniquely topped building.   >>>

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    A twisting double-cone form adds dynamism to BMW Welt, a new car showroom and event space for BMW in Munich, Germany.
    Photo: Christian Franke Extra Large Image

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    BMW Welt (BMW World)was designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au, based in Vienna, Austria.
    Photo: © 2007 Ari Marcopoulos Extra Large Image

     

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