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ANALYZING the

BMW WELT Munich

COSMOS BEDZRA under the guidance of Prof. Christos Passas and Yevgeniy Beylkin


THE BMW WELT

The automobile industry is a highly dynamic industry. Vehicles are under a constant evolution feasting on every new advancement in technology or spearheading the discovery of ingredients needed to form the contents of the industry’s answers to questions of Speed, Efficiency, Fuel economy and so on. Undoubtedly BMW is one of the leaders in providing high quality technological solutions to the automobile industry. This hunger for pacesetting would not be left out in the building of this branding center; the BMW Welt. The BMW Welt’s physical context in Munich is characterized by high profile architecture. To the south is the Olympiapark with Frei Otto’s tensile roofs and to east is the BMW Complex, comprising the BMW manufacturing plant, the four cylinder high rise and the BMW museum. For a building which was to represent the BMW culture, there was the need to have a building which stands out in its immediate physical environment and at the same time put BMW ahead of the competition in the automobile industry. The project explores a parallel phenomenon to that of the combustion and the release of energy which puts the automobile in motion. Here the designers aim at capturing the energy present in clouds. The process of cloud formation, the movement of a floating cloud and the point where it gives way to rain is a utopian concept to be brought to the level of a building. However BMW Welt successfully explores this concept metaphorically and in an abstract way. The excellent organization of spaces within and under the cloud reinforces the fact that a cloud transforms into rain and rain provides water for life. Beyond the fact that the BMW Welt is an image-oriented architecture and makes use of state of the arts technology in its design and construction, it is a building that has not overlooked the basic and important principles of architecture which includes spatial configuration and climate modification and so on.

The BMW Welt is a highly informed building. It is an icon and stands out in its environment but simultaneously, it is also well integrated into the context. A foot bridge runs across the building and over the road to the main BMW complex. This feature widens the space of the BMW Welt. It makes it a thoroughfare. In this sense the BMW Welt is not just a new imposition on the landscape, drastically changing the movement patterns of people but it provides an option and one does not need to have any business in the BMW Welt before deciding to use this bridge from one point to the other. The building allows views from the interior to its surroundings, extending this privilege to the spaces in the floating roof by way of a slit. Locating the main entrance is not a problem at the BMW Welt. The double cone is a strong statement; carrying the sense of the source and origin of an explosion. In an interview with Kristin Feireiss recorded in the book dynamic forces, Wolf Prix, leader of the Design team said, “Naturally, BMW Welt serves to enhance the corporate image. But where is the difference between that and a Greek temple? ”. In fact, the extensive program of this building has been organized in a simple, clear and highly efficient way. Spaces are open sometimes physically or only visually. One can hardly tell where barriers exist but a whole lot of activities take place without conflict at the same time. The structural achievements of this building, definitely is a great contribution to investigations into high efficiency of structural elements. In this building which has an area larger than that of a soccer field and an Airbus A-380a, there are only eleven columns to be found.


FACTS AND FIGURES

NAME BMW Welt BMW DELIVERY CENTER, Munich, Germany, 2001-2007 CLIENT BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE (BMW) AG ARCHITECTS COOP HIMMELB(L)AU ENGINEERS BOLLINGER + GROHMANN FLOOR AREA 73,000 m2 BUDGECT ABOVE DATA COMPETITION 1st PRIZE: 2001 START OF PLANNING: 11/2001 START OF CONSTRUCTION: 08/2003 OPENING: 20/21.10.2007 SITE AREA: 25,000 m2 GROSS FLOOR AREA: APPROX. 73.000 m2 BUILDING COST: ABOVE 100,000,000 Euro JOBS CREATED: APPROX. 200 VEHICLE DELIVERIES: MAX. 250 PER DAY FREQUENCE OF VISITORS: 850,000 PER YEAR

BMW GROUP REVENUE 2008 53 BILLION Vehicle production Automobiles units 1,439,918 1,541,503 -6.6 Motorcycles units 104,220 104,396 -0.2 Deliveries to customers Automobiles units 1,435,876 1,500,678 -4.3 Motorcycles units 101,685 102,467 -0.8 Workforce at year-end 100,041 107,539 -7.0 Revenues euro million 53,197 56,018 -5.0 thereof: Automobiles euro million 48,782 53,818 -9.4 Motorcycles euro million 1,230 1,228 +0.2 Financial Services euro million 15,725 13,940 +12.8 Reconciliations euro million -12,540 -12,968 Capital expenditure euro million 4,204 4,267 -1.5


WHY COOP HIMMELB(L)AU ? THE COMPETITION recieved 275 submissions. This number was shortfolifollows. Morphosis Architects of Los Angeles - 3rd prize, Zaha Hadid Architects of London - 2nd price, Coop himmelb(l)au of Vienna and Sauerbruch/Hutton from Berlin - 1st price. After further revisions of the proposals, Coop himmelb(l)au was awarded the contract.

THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY is a highly dynamic industry. Vehicles are under a constant evolution feasting on every new advancement in technology. There is great competition in the industry and one needs to engage in constant search for something new. Undoubtedly BMW is one of the leaders in providing high quality technological solutions to the automobile industry. This hunger for pacesetting would not be left out in the building of this branding center.

COOP HIMMELBL(L)AU, prior to their participation in the competition had embarked on a long journey of investigating the ability to capture forces and come as a surprise when their proposal of an architecture towards a zero gravity was unanimously awarded the an opportunity to collaborate with an extremely ambitious and adventurous client as BMW


CHALENGES OF PROJECT Providing design to act as a mouthpiece of the BMW brand, Corporate Culture and the City of Munich Need to blend design into the Olympiapark Accessibility to visitors on foot interconectivity of surrounding structures expecially, BMW facilities

BMW Manufacturing Plant

BMW Welt

EAST: BMW Museum BMW “four cylinder� high rise

Olympiapark


ATTEMPTS TO RESOLVE CHALENGES THE DOUBLE CONE is not just important because it serves as a point of departure for the floating roof and is a main load support, but it serves as an attractor point where the main entrance is located and a unifying elment between the BMW welt and the main BMW complex through the BMW Museum. It is a strong statement to overcome the street as an obstacle in integrating the building into the complex.

BMW “four cylinder� high rise

The BRIDGE is the physical element of unity between the BMW properties. This major circulation spine linkes all the public spaces within the BMW Welt and extends the space in a continuous motion to the BMW Museum.

BMW Museum


GENEOLOGY OF BMW WELT ROOF STRUCTURE

Images showing 3 decades of experimentation aimed at capturing the forces present in clouds, combustion and wind.


ABOUT+INSIDE THE CLOUD

Oscillating between physical and digital models, the cloud of the BMW Welt has been a pivot and a central point around which the whole design evolves. Right from the competition stages, its Architects had to be clear in their submission on how it was going to work.The cloud which was to be supported with less columns had to undergo several modifications to address issues related to efficeincy in load transfere. In conjunction with the double cone, the cloud serves a functional structurally independent entity. It also serves as a space differentiation structure and a conopy over the entire building. To further enhance the cloud effect, the architects proposed a trasluscent skin. The clients however wanted to have control over the mood and sentiments of some of the spaces through artificial lighting.

The cloud also houses the lounge. This space which accommodates VIPs and clients, provides views to the plaza and the rest of the BMW complex accross the street through the slit in the cloud. The cleint is elevated and given a feeling of importance. In a building where cars are driven in and out, fumes needed to be eleminated as quickly as possible. The cloud is therefore porous; providing pores for fumes to escape to ensure a good quality of air in the building. The slit in the cloud in an angle directed towards the four cylindrs was to pay homage to the high rise. It also enhances dayligh admittion into the lounge and provides views into the plaza.


ABOUT+INSIDE THE CLOUD

BMW Manufacturing Plant

BMW Welt

EAST: BMW Museum

BMW “four cylinder” high rise

projection of lines froom slit confirming veiw to the four cylinder high rise


THE SPACES

FORUM in ancient Rome, a public square or marketplace in a city where business was conducted and the law courts were situated

PLAZA JUNIOR CAMPUS

FORUM LOUNGE PREMIERE

BUSINESS CLUB

The BMW Welt has been likened to important places such as the Acropolis in Athens and and its main hall also to the St. Mark’s square in Venice. The collection of spaces in the BMW

It is a market place, a meeting place, an information center, a center of education and so on. From the initial proposal of a 45,000 square meters, the program grew to 75,000 square meters, requiring a effective but harmonious spatial configuration. Falling on examples such as the Acropolis as a point of departure was a useful tool in facing the challenge


the SPACES


the SPACES


the PLANS

third-floor plan


the SECTIONS


the SECTION

The section above shows a huge area of the space located below ground level to further enhance the floating cloud over the open space below.


BOLLINGER+GROHMANN; engineers’ version of story

The strategy was to apply virtual forces in the computer model to an area of support to get a deflection, and then, using these deflected areas as the low areas of a roof structure, they could optimize and test the results, allowing for a structurally efficient and dynamic roof.

them, and, as a result, the majority of the columns were omitted. The roof now bears down on 11 specially shaped concrete-composite columns and on the "Gastro Tower," a mushroom-shaped restaurant core.

There is an upper and a lower layer of roof structure, and the distance and depth between them varies along the roof geometry. The shaping of these grid girder layers was developed through testing fictitious load scenarios.

The facade's bent construction system, with glass panels and glassbead-blasted stainless steel, realizes the design intent while eliminating the need for expansion joints in the roof and allowing the warping of the massive undulating roof to be taken up by the elastic bending of the posts.

These studies led to the definition of the upper surface, which was pushed up under its own negative weight, and of the lower roof structure, which was shaped by forces exerted down upon it relating to the columns and building below. According to the designers, using these imagined load scenarios, a resulting roof form was tested and optimized in terms of meaningfulness of load transfer. The initial competition design included a forest of columns holding up the roof. Engineering studies were undertaken on how to rationalize

During construction, it took 26 lift towers to hold up the roof, which was raised by hydraulic lifts and eventually lowered onto the structure. The initial design had the roof largely translucent to allow visitors to see its structure. This was changed by the client. BMW opted to prevent sunlight from shining directly on the cars as they were being presented to customers. The company wanted the presentation of the vehicles to be consistently perfect, and direct sun would create an uncontrollable aspect of the experience. www.architectureweek.com


EXPANDING THE BMW WORLD In order to prevent competition of the expanded area with the floating roof which is the main center of attraction, it will be advisable to carry out the expansion at the roof level to intensify the cloud effect. The rest of the expanded area will be below ground level.

BMW Manufacturing Plant

BMW Welt

BMW “four cylinder” high rise

EAST: BMW Museum

before EXPANSION


EXPANDING THE BMW WORLD

BMW Manufacturing Plant

BMW Welt

BMW “four cylinder” high rise

EAST: BMW Museum

after EXPANSION


INTERPRETATION PROJECT The interpretation project is an installation aimed at splitting the BMW Welt into its constituents parts. There is clearly an icon on the skyline of Munich. The building is not just an image of a corporate body but a highly informed architectural intervention. Water molecules rise they condense and form a cloud and send out a sign of hope to those who wait for the rain. The elements in this instalation are symbolic of water molecules that form the BMW Cloud. It is a congress of the dreams of a corporate body, technological advancements of our time, the social and leisure life of people and so on.


CONCLUSION The BMW Welt is a current architectural icon. In my opinion the success of the project has been the ability of the designer to take the issue of context and intigration into context very seriously. The relaiance of the design team on the history of architecture expecially, inspirations from Greek temples as means of organizing space makes it possible for people to identify easily with the building. The important lesson here is that current investigations into new design aproaches must keep an eye on the evolution pattern of architectural design.


REFERENCES Dynamic Forces: COOP Himmelb(l)au, BMW WELT Munich, Feireiss, Kristin (Editor), Kwinter, Sanford (Essay) www.bmw-welt.com www.coop-himmelblau.at www.architectureweek.com

ANALYZING THE BMW WELT Munich  

architectural analysis seminar at the DIA Dessau, Germany