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.
Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...