BMW Welt / Coop Himmelb(l)au


Architect: Coop Himmelb(l)au
Location: Munich,
Principal in Charge: Wolf D. Prix
Project Architects: Paul Kath
Design Team: Wolf D. Prix, Tom Wiscombe, Paul Kath, Waltraut Hohenender, Mona Marbach
Partial Project Architects: Günther Weber, Penelope Rüttimann, Renate Weissenböck, Mona Marbach, Verena Perius
Project team: Hans Aescht, Beatrix Basting, Guy Bebiè, Chris Beccone, Johannes Behrens, Marcelo Bernardi, Pawel Bodzak, Verena Boyer, Antja Bulthaup, Timo Carl, Jan Chaldil, Ing Tse Chen, Tadeusz Chimiak, Andrea Christmann, Patrick Erhardt, Stephan Exsternbrink, Wolfgang Fiel, Benedikt Frass, Helmut Frötscher, Volker Gessendorfer, Andrea Graser, Lukas Haller, Markus Henning, Armin Hess, Jens Hoff, Tamas Horvath, Robert Huebser, Astrid Jagersberger, Marin Jurycz, Gregor Kassl, Areta Keller, Markus Klausecker, Tobias Klein, Martin Konrad, Quirin Krumbholz, Caroline Kufferath, Marion Lattenmayer, Stefan Laub, Wolfgang Leitgeb, Andreas Mieling, Karin Miesenberger, Dennis Milam, Elke Müller, Henrike Münker, Claudia Nehammer, Martin Oberascher, Alexander Ott, Stefan Pfefferle, Florian Pfeifer, Markus Pillhofer, Ekkehard Rehfeld, Goswin Rothenthal, Wolfgang Ruthensteiner, Jasmin Sauerbier, Florian Schafschetzy, Kristina Schinegger, Karolin Schmidbaur, Patrick Schneider, Katharina Schneider, Hubert Schoba, Angus Schoenberger, Andrea Schöning, Anja Sorger, Gernot Stangl, Mark Steinmetz, Sigrid Steinwender, Martina Tippelskirch, Dionicio Valdez, Pascal Vauclair, Akvile Rimantaite, Andreas Weissenbach, Heribert Wolfmayer, Irina Zahler
Site Area: 25,000 sqm
Construction Area: 73,000 sqm
Project year: 2003-2007
Photographs: Iwan Baan / For the complete photo set, go to Iwan’s website



The realization of the technical building facilities within the scope of the architecture led to a planning model with five thematic blocks: Hall, Premiere, Forum, Gastronomy


A low-tech concept optimized ecologically using high-tech methods

The technical solution here is based on previous experience with large halls. All of the necessary features were realized successfully according to a low-tech concept. The interrelations of daylight and artificial light with ambient climate and acoustics influence people’s feeling of well-being in the Hall. The concept for the technological building systems takes up these relationships and integrates them in an interdependent manner, adapting their range of influence by modifying their dimensions or building in appropriate control mechanisms. A major goal in designing the systems was to save energy. This aim is achieved by minimizing the mechanical apparatus for ventilation, heating and cooling. The gigantic Hall is thus conceived as a solar-heated, naturally ventilated sub-climatic area, a multifunctional space that does not follow the otherwise customary requirements for heating and ventilation.

A natural air supply is generated by thermal currents, wind pressure and turbulences when air accumulates in the area of the facade and roof projection. Air intake and outflow take place through automatically controlled vents. The “natural aeration” system provides sufficient fresh air to the Hall.


The Hall’s roof system has special significance for the complex made up of heat, cold and air. A 3D simulation of thermal currents and air streams was conducted in order to investigate the spread of exhaust fumes from the cars driven on the Premiere level. Iterative calculations were then carried out to optimize the arrangement of air intake and outflow vents for natural air exchange in such a way that it was possible to remain below the permitted threshold value of around ten percent.


Exhaust gas diffusion prevented through negative pressure

The key task of the new BMW Welt is to deliver cars – in the Premiere section – with all concepts geared toward enhancing the experience of delivery. Because of the exhaust gases that this task involves, special considerations and calculations had to be made in terms of the ventilation plan, since the Premiere is open to the Hall – the major space in this world of experience. Beyond merely fine-tuning the volume of air intake and outflow currents, it was also important to extract the exhaust fumes directly and pump in fresh air. Planning here was based on an assumed turnover of 40 cars per hour, or 250 cars per day.

level 00 plan
level 00 plan


A room-in-a-room for maximum flexibility

The Forum is a separate event area for up to 1,200 persons, equipped to meet all the specifications for a full-fledged theater or conference room.

The ventilation technology fulfills the high demands on comfort and soundproofing placed on such a sensitive area when it is situated in the middle of other function areas. The technical facilities for this special area were conceived independently, including a plan for integrating them into the architecture. Air is supplied laterally via air jets and is extracted through the ceiling as exhaust air. Based on the number of people in the room, infinite adjustment of the required air volume is possible.


Island solutions place high demands on building systems to ensure well-being

The technical equipment discreetly supports the gastronomic functions. In places where guests spend longer periods of time, air sources are placed near the floor. In order to ensure pleasant air quality even near the glass facades, the vertical facade support profiles are heated to prevent the cold downdrafts typical for this kind of construction.


Double Cone

An event space offering all the options of a public assembly place

The Double Cone is used as an exhibition space and for special events. Air is brought in by means of a low-induction system along the base of the facade and streams into the roof through the opening at the top of the cone. Floor air conditioning and air circulation coolers in the wall and floor areas ensure the necessary comfort level. In the in-between seasons, natural ventilation via facade shutters is used. The structural design of BMW Welt represents a special challenge when determining how to conduct supply lines. Because of the vast support-free space, which is borne by only 11 columns plus the elevator shafts, the supply cross-sections for the Lounge floors and the Tower had to be integrated into the few supporting core cross-sections. This situation necessitated close coordination at a very early project phase between those responsible for structural engineering, the routing of facility services and building technology.

Cite: "BMW Welt / Coop Himmelb(l)au" 22 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Balkan

    I have been inside and must say that it is not impressive at all! Mercedes museum is much better than this. Too much many spent and not much effect produced.

    • biboarchitect

      completely agree

      • daus



    I’ve been inside also, and I thought it was pretty awesome…maybe I was just being wooed by all the amazing cars!

  • David

    It is anything but boring. For me these photo’s and drawings do not do it justice.
    I have to say alot of the people making comments on this website are complete imbeciles and in future I will not read them. BMW Welt has an amazing section unfortunately not part of this set. I have not been inside it but I have been to a Wolf Prix lecture on it.
    Bateman, baby photo albums are obviously your thing and what blows your hair back.

  • Guillermo

    Boooorrrriiinnngggg !!!!!!! whats wrong with you, read and search about this proyect. it´s great

  • yellow and pink polka-dot goat

    The building is more impressive than the pictures show.
    The tour is horrible (a padding of Prix’s ego really) but it is also the only way to see some parts of the building without buying a car!
    If I have a moment I’ll upload my own photos and provide links.

  • zga

    the building is anything but boring

  • joao

    BATMAN: i thought the same.
    got really surprised when i read you comment.

    that’s all.

  • Gillio Francesa

    I honestly see no contextualization on the building, looks as if a UFO landed there… Boaring… Anyone with knowledge on Revit or Vector can draw that with little studing… Architecture its not Esculpture, I agree with Balkan, Too much many spent and not much effect produced, it just looks like a huge miscontroled mess

    • David

      Gillio you obviously fall into the imbecile category.
      Did you not see the aerial photo and for that matter the site plan and how it relates to the corner. This is Munich, the home of BMW, look at their other buildings.
      In fact BMW is across the road where there are acres of industrial buildings. Type in BMW Welt, Munich, Germany in to Google Maps/satellite and you’ll see context.

      Catch a wake up.

      • Balkan

        First of all who gave you right to insult somebody????We are here to make our opinions and statements about nowadays architecture practise. Once you evolve you will realise that estetics and sensationalism are the last criteria that architecture should be judged by!!!!!!!!!!!Have a nice day

    • Syl

      Arcitecture is not only about drawing something.
      Whether one likes this architecture or not, i fell one has to be impressed by all that is implied with this kind of project:
      -how to develop this kind of concept
      -how you convince the client
      -the other professionnals and everyone who is implicated in the project
      -how you manage to detail regarding it’s feasability to really make this thing builded by contractors
      -how to make survive the building against the ever downgrading effect af the construction phase
      -and how to manage to align an tremendous amounts quantity of right decisions affecting the overall result

      I only can be mesmerized towards these kind of projects being realized knowing that it would be unthinkable building these kind of projects where I live.

  • L30n

    against all odds, really nice.

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  • Ralph Kent

    When are they going to decide if they want that (L) in their name or not?

  • richie deccetie

    yes, very impressive, giant, high tech, hot and shiny if you want, but i just don’t like it at all.

  • Balkan

    hehe Richie :) Couldn’t write it better than this! Very precise. :)

  • richie deccetie

    the worst part of all is that the BMW cars are so net. awesom desing and machine, but this building is just a B.S.They must sell this thing and hire somebody else at the level those fine machines are built.I don’t know ,Koolhaas ,MRDV…..

    • R Goldschmidt

      My “dear” friend. I realy find it a cool building. And the entire form represent the BMW icon. And why do you want BMW to sell it? You want to buy it?

  • Andrew Geber

    bmw, merc, porsche, theyre all doing this now..and its great!

  • cyborg

    LOOKS GREAT. Time to explore the fourth dimension in architecure.and always keep up the good work.

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