BMW Welt by Coop Himmelb(l)au wins best of Production at WAFl Awards 2008
BMW Welt, literally “the World of BMW”, is a hybrid exhibition and automobile delivery centre designed by Austrian practice Coop Himmelb(l)au. The multi-functional centre is divided in 5 key areas: Premiere, at the center of BMW Welt, where the vehicles are handed over to customers on rotating platforms, from where they can drive out of the building via a generously sized ramp; Lounge, integrated into the roof and virtually suspended over the delivery area, supported only by the utility service shafts and a column; Forum, located in the north wing of the building, a state of the art Auditorium for up to 1200 people; Tower, in the southwest, a multifunctional area with restaurants, exhibition, sales floors and administrative offices; Double Cone, resting on eleven columns, a full-service event realm extending over several levels, including a stage with its own catering infrastructure, rotating platforms and infrastructure connections for events.
Wolf D. Prix, co-founder and design principal of Coop Himmelb(l)au described the project: "The concept behind the design envisions a hybrid building representing a mixture of urban elements. Not an exhibition hall, not an information and communication centre, not a museum, but instead all of these things, along a passage organized under one roof and horizontally and vertically layered. A conjoining of urban marketplace and stage for presentations”.
The WAF judges chose it as the winner amongst 12 shortlisted entries in the Produciton category and defined the scheme as “deeply indebted to Le Corbusier´s enquiring mind and dedication to experimental culture” adding that “Wolf D. Prix pursues new meanings and forms in architecture.”
Incidentally BMW Welt represents the zenith of Wolf D. Prix’s fascination with turning clouds into architecture, as his words testify: "From the very start we’ve wanted to build cloud architectures and cities that change like banks of clouds.”
The centre was also one of the 10 RIBA European Awards winners in 2008.