With the launch of BMW Welt, the German car manufacturer has elevated buying a car from mere transaction to ritualistic experience. This landmark building, situated on a highly visible site between Munich’s Olympic Park and the BMW headquarters, is designed to embrace visitors entirely into the world of BMW. Buyers can not only meet their new cars as they rotate on turntables, but also immerse themselves in visions of future mobility. There’s a junior campus educating children and young people on autos and an event forum for diverse happenings and excitement. Visitors are served by a series of restaurants and shops. BMW expects to deliver 45,000 cars and to receive 800,000 visitors each year.
Form and Function
The architectural design speaks volumes about BMW’s values. The dominating feature is a ‘double cone’ glass and steel structure that supports a cloud-like roof. Here, perforated stainless steel panels act as both – aesthetic and functional elements, providing the desired impressions as well as sun protection. Stainless steel is also the dominating façade material on the upper sections of the building, and it is used in indoor cladding as well. The contracting company Josef Gartner GmbH of Germany selected Outokumpu as the stainless steel supplier based on long-term good relations and Outokumpu’s long experience with architecture.
Outokumpu’s supply for BMW Welt comprised approximately 500 tons of stainless coil and sheet. The material for the external sections was austenitic EN 1.4404 (ASTM 316L), with the milder grade EN 1.4301 (ASTM 304) chosen for indoor cladding. All material was delivered with a 2B surface finish, shot blasted prior to fabrication by Josef Gartner.
A project manager from the company commented that they were absolutely satisfied with Outokumpu’s performance and Outokumpu met their expectations. They received the material in the right condition, and at the right place and time.