Gallery: BMW Welt: Solar-powered Masterpiece in Munich


An elegance of dynamics drives the design of the new BMW Welt – a stunning solar-powered shrine to German auto engineering. Crafted by world renowned architect Wolf Prix of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, this sculptural, high-performance structure opened in October to serve as BMW’s center for refinement of brand experience and vehicle delivery in Munich.

The architecture is an experiment in fluid spatial encounters. Outside, BMW Welt’s steel and glass façade whirls seamlessly into the Double Cone – a dynamic 48 meter wide helical feature that provides structural support to the building’s floating “Cloud Roof.” Across the 16,500 m2 (177,500 ft2) expanse of roof BMW has installed an impressive flat roof-integrated PV system made up of 3,660 solar modules. Manufactured by SOLARWATT and installed by SunStrom the array delivers a minimum power capacity of 824kWp (kilowatt-peak).

A network of high-grade steel panels between solar modules on the roof captures solar gain which is distributed throughout the building for heating. The building also nets solar energy through the façade which works to moderate conditioned air and provide natural ventilation. Thermally efficient surfaces inside help to maintain constant thermal comfort and control temperature swings. Vegetation near ventilation elements helps cool incoming air in warmer months and filters dust particles year round.

The facility includes the premium lounge for new car owners, a public gallery, conference suite and children’s center. The Double Cone will act as a media dome for exhibitions and events accommodating up to 450 people. BMW anticipates over 800,000 visitors per year.

Total digs cover 73,000 m2 (about 785,000 ft2) with 60% of the gross floor area underground. The projected energy reduction from the solar photovoltaic and integrated design systems is 30%.

+ BMW Welt
BMW Welt at New York Times


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  1. Rupert February 27, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    hehe PS. I’m told not to use the word ‘landscaping’ infruiates landscape architects apparently!

  2. Rupert February 27, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I stumbled upon this building when visiting the Munich Olympics park which is just next door to it. Its the first thing you see as you come out of the S-Bahn stop (Underground/Metro/Subway/Train link whatever you Americans call it! :) (I’m a ‘Brit’)) Its very impressive, they were landscaping still when i was there at the end of September (We were promtly hurried along by a big German when i stopped to take photos!),_Munich

    I hope that we can do a similarly good job for 2012…

  3. John Strozycki January 16, 2008 at 2:05 am

    This is an exceptional piece of engineering as well as a stunning sight to behold just from looking at the photo’s. The people who strove to have this built and implemented should be highly commended on their guts and determination to bring functionality, breathtaking design and an environmental green approach to buildings.

  4. BMW Centre « Hamann November 22, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    […] more information here […]

  5. JS November 19, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    really cool but just one small point. photovoltaics are not a reduction…they are a replacement.

  6. Fancy Pad To Collect Yo... November 16, 2007 at 12:24 am

    […] At BMW Welt you can collect you new bimmer in style, checkout this building.  Posted on and […]

  7. Michael Mckenzie November 15, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Architecture as it was intended…a beautiful, functional, efficient people pleaser. Wow!

  8. Solar Coupons November 14, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Ohh man them are some really cool photo’s! Germany is starting to take the lead in solar engineering and design we need to catch up.

  9. Mahesh Basantani November 14, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    This is truly awesome!

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