Brave new world - BMW Welt opened in Munich

Coop, Munich, BMW Welt

The BMW Welt has been opened on Wednesday, 17 October 2007 with a festive ceremony in the new building. The striking Double Cone and the “Cloud Roof” hovering in space – these are the characteristic features of the BMW Welt planed by the architects of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Vienna.

The “Cloud Roof” measuring 16,500 m2 or 177,500 ft2 rising out of the striking Double Cone and borne by 11 pendulum pillars creates the impression as if it were literally hovering in space. This particular look is ensured inter alia by the deliberate deformation of the lower roof bearing frame extending out of the Double Cone and thus forming one of the main supports for the roof.

In the words of Professor Wolf D. Prix, the architect responsible for the design and creation of the BMW Welt and a co-founder of the renowned architects’ office COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, this particular concept was developed in an ongoing process of refinement: “While the first drafts still incorporated a large number of pillars and supports, we reduced this number consistently in the course of time in order to come closer to the philosophy of a cloud hovering in space. As it is now, the particular shape and design of the roof emphasises and accentuates the freehovering, flying character of the building. In this process the roof does not distinguish, let alone dominate, the space occupied by the building, but rather sets it apart from everything else. And although it would naturally be difficult to build architecture as a cloud, the sheer persity of functions reflected in and through the persity of forms comes very close to the concept of a cloud in the sky.”

Solar energy entering the building through the roof and facades is used specifically to provide the necessary warmth within the building. Glass shell surfaces, in turn, ensure a comfortable surface temperature through their consistently low heat transition coefficients, while the floor and, to a certain extent, the roof structures enhance the ability of the building to retain appropriate temperatures at all times.

The gates to the BMW Welt will be open to the public at large on the weekend of 20/21 October 2007.
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