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Architecture sets the tone

+++ BMW Group creates spaces for collaboration +++ Iconic works by Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and the Vienna architect team Coop Himmelb(l)au +++ Architecture Day on 29 and 30 June +++

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+++ BMW Group creates spaces for collaboration +++ Iconic works by Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and the Vienna architect team Coop Himmelb(l)au +++ Architecture Day on 29 and 30 June +++

Munich. The BMW Group headquarters in Munich, the neighbouring BMW Welt and the BMW Group Plant Leipzig have one thing in common: they are three award-winning architectural landmarks where aesthetics and functionality form a successful dialogue. They amaze and delight both inside and out, and demonstrate that the architecture of a commercial corporation also means responsibility — for the people who work in the buildings and for the cityscape that shapes them. In Munich, the Group headquarters, together with BMW Welt, have become a figurehead of the Bavarian state capital.

“At the BMW Group, people and places go hand in hand. When planning new buildings, we always take a holistic view. What spatial structure the respective areas require, what environment our employees need for good teamwork and how we use space efficiently are central aspects to be considered. Architecture creates something lasting. At the BMW Group, we see it as part of our social responsibility to make a valuable contribution to our employees and our environment,” says Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, People and Real Estate, and Labour Relations Director.

Architecture Day on 29 and 30 June is an occasion for the BMW Group to take a look at its iconic buildings and show how architecture creates spaces for innovation and modern ways of working.

At the BMW Group, real estate and personnel development are closely interlinked. Employees, their respective competencies and required space work together and determine building structures. Sustainable and optimal space planning, particularly in light of energy consumption, is just as important as creating a positive and pleasant room atmosphere in which employees feel comfortable. Successful interior design is based on the needs of the people who work there. It promotes efficiency, interactions and creativity. It is when a brilliant and fitting idea is consistently and confidently implemented in command of what is possible. This corporate culture is a recurring thread throughout the BMW Group’s architectural statements.


A landmark shapes the BMW Group’s architectural language

The BMW Group headquarters in Munich, the distinctive four-cylinder engine, has achieved world fame. The landmark completed in 1972, planned by Austrian architect Professor Karl Schwanzer, was bold and visionary at the time. The construction alone — from top to bottom using a suspended structure — was and is spectacular. The building became the springboard for the company’s architectural philosophy, which still applies today: a precise, timeless and self-confident design language represents the Group to the outside world and at the same time forges a building structure that creates meeting places and functional spaces for efficient work processes inside.


BMW Welt: Architecture enhances experience 

The approach that architecture creates places of encounter was consistently implemented with BMW Welt, which opened in 2007 at the Group location in Munich. Here, the BMW Group brands — BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad — come alive, people from all nations meet, future topics become visible. Designed by the Viennese team of architects Coop Himmelb(l)au, the futuristic building, which is connected to the corporate headquarters and the BMW Museum via a dynamically spanned bridge, attracts an audience of millions of every year. It is impossible to imagine Munich’s cityscape without the listed BMW Welt, the company’s shop window, as it were. It is a building that wows people — both inside and outside — and whose visit lives long in the memory.


Transparency at BMW Group plant in Leipzig 

The BMW Group plant in Leipzig also joins the ranks of architectural icons. The building, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects of London and opened in 2005, is another example of how architecture supports communication and encounter. The building, which was awarded the German Architecture Prize, works with maximum transparency: the manufactured cars float on a 600-metre-long, open conveyor line through the building, visible to everyone, even from the canteen. Working in the building is characterised by short distances between production areas, transparent and efficient work processes, and a high level of communication and cooperation across specialist areas.


Architecture creates spaces for new ways of working

Working environments are changing, job requirements have changed. At the BMW Group, employees work together in cross-thematic and cross-functional teams; meetings and knowledge-sharing are encouraged. Architecture creates the spaces for this future-oriented work: workplaces are used flexibly, there are meeting areas that enable spontaneous and low-threshold meetings, and in addition, retreat spaces allow concentrated work. Design goes beyond purely functional requirements: architecture has the potential to design places where employees feel comfortable and promote innovative thinking and creative exchange. The BMW Group is pursuing this approach with ConnectedWorkplace and is implementing it at all existing and new locations worldwide.


Talent Campus as a meeting place 

The modern Talent Campus, which is currently being built at the Group site in Munich and is becoming the BMW Group’s new training and continuing education hub, is a good example of how architecture creates spaces for collaboration and at the same time how a building enriches its environment. In the modern structure, which is transparently designed with large windows and in which the more than 40,000 employees in Munich will receive training and continuing education in the future, the rooms are open and can be used in variable ways. The room layout can be adjusted or retrofitted at any time, making the construction particularly sustainable. The redesigned green spaces become a meeting point between production and the neighbourhood, and a public café invites visitors to exchange ideas. The construction also moves with the times: while in the four-cylinder façade elements made from cast aluminium processes were the eye-catcher, the Talent Campus is a wooden structure. The renewable raw material creates a natural effect and a warm room atmosphere that invites you to learn.


Parent plant in Munich: Working environments allow networking

Employees are also dealing with new topics in terms of content. Digitalisation and electric mobility require a new working environment. The restructuring of the BMW Group parent plant in Munich, not far from the Group headquarters, shows just how profound this change is. The parent plant is being redesigned as the largest investment project in the company’s history to produce the all-electric Neue Klasse in the future. This is where content transformation and architectural development go hand in hand. Once again, visionary thinking is about to break ground: as part of the architecture competition, the two architecture firms OMA from Rotterdam and 3XN from Copenhagen have created visions that enable technologies and employees to be networked. In the long term, the aim is to create a connection between the plant site and the neighbourhood and city. This is of particular importance here, as the main plant is located in an urban environment.

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