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Illuminating culture from New York’s Times Square to BMW’s four-cylinder building in Munich

BMW Group celebrates its Cultural Commitment on the arts, music, design and architecture

Cultural Issues

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Munich. On the evening of December 18, the BMW Group headquarters, the world-famous four-cylinder, has been illuminated with a spectacular light installation projecting the logo of Spielmotor e.V., Germany’s oldest public-private partnership in the field of culture.


In 1979, BMW Group founded Spielmotor e.V. in partnership with the city of Munich. The collaboration aims to establish and further develop the city as a regional and international hub of culture. In 1988, the Spielmotor e.V. incorporated the Munich Biennale for New Music Theatre into its program, followed by the drama festival SPIELART in 1995 and the DANCE Festival for Contemporary Dance in 1998. For almost 50 years now, BMW has supported cultural initiatives worldwide, and with its long-term commitments, the company focusses on modern and contemporary art, classical music and jazz as well as on architecture and design.


Since its official opening on May 18 1973, the BMW Group headquarters tower, which was illuminated on Monday night, and its neighbouring museum complex have become an indisputable icon of architectural history and a permanent feature both of Munich’s skyline and of the company’s corporate image. In the spring of 2013, 40 years after its completion, a committee of experts voted the building complex designed by architect Professor Karl Schwanzer one of the 15 most spectacular corporate head offices.


This month, the international cultural commitment of BMW Group was also celebrated outside the company’s home town – following its premiere at Art Basel in Miami Beach, “FRANCHISE FREEDOM”, the current collaboration with Dutch Studio Drift found its way from Florida to New York, where it was displayed on a billboard on Times Square in early December. Partnering with BMW, Studio Drift used 300 illuminated drones simulating a flock of birds to lighten up the night sky over Miami Beach creating a performative artwork at the interface of technology, science and art above the ocean. Throughout the week of Art Basel, the work continued to amaze thousands of visitors.


The light installation of Spielmotor e.V. was part of transforming the four-cylinder building into four upright batteries. With this shining symbol, the BMW Group celebrates this year’s delivery of a total of 100,000 electrified vehicles underlying its leadership role when it comes to electro-mobility.


For further questions please contact:

Dr Thomas Girst

BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs
Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49 89 382 247 53
Fax: +49 89 382 24418


Stefanie Jennes

BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs

Cultural Engagement

Telephone: +49-89-382-30804 




About BMW Group’s Cultural Commitment

For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group's Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. In 2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities for granted – as this is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.


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The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.


In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.367 million cars and 145,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.


The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.






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