The 12 Days of Architecture: #5 München, Germany
BMW Welt Building by Coop Himmelb(l)au architects
The striking €100,000,000 BMW marketing building in München, Germany is the work of the eminent architectural company Coop Himmelb(l)au. Its wasp-waisted glass and steel rotunda design is intended as a metaphor for the sleek and complex creations housed under its roof.
Citing the Acropolis as his inspiration, architect Wolf Prix wanted to create "a city landmark, a temple and also a marketplace, meeting place and information centre." One thing's for sure: as somewhere to pick up your gleaming new BMW it sure beats a garage forecourt.
The building's most striking feature is the glass and steel double cone, 45 metres in diameter and rising 28 metres high. Its digitally fabricated facade features over 900 different glass panels.
The billowing steel "cloud" roof houses an 800 kilowatt solar plant and creates an environment which encompasses the diverse functions and visitor experiences of the building, from arrival via the external footbridge, to dining in one of four eating areas, to signing the paperwork for a new car in the marketing suite.
Coop Himmelb(l)au has another exciting project currently underway with the Dalian International Conference Center in Dalian, China. Prix describes the building as "an idea to create a small city comprising conference and performance rooms under a single, shell-like roof."