The new BMW Museum by Atelier Bruecknen in Munich has a modern, dynamic language: the language of the automotive world. Opened on June 21st, 2008, it sets a new standard in the realm of brand-focused museums. The Stuttgart studio ATELIER BRÜCKNER was commissioned with the general planning, architecture, and exhibition design. ART+COM, a Berlin design office for new media, completed the spatial media design and interactive installations, while Integral Ruedi Baur executed the graphic design. The initial call for the new BMW Museum came in 2003 when the BMW board of directors purposefully decided on the Munich location.
In contrast to construction projects of other automobile manufactures, the new museum building would not originate in a green meadow; instead, it was a matter of integrating the new museum into the existing structural fabric of the group headquarters in Munich. Here, trendsetting architecture already had a presence from the original 1973 plans of the Viennese architect Karl Schwanzer. This ensemble consists of the “Four Cylinder” high-rise construction, the adjoining low buildings, and the “Museum Bowl” which carries the BMW logo on the roof, and has subsequently developed into a landmark of the car group. With the “Museum Bowl” Karl Schwanzer designed the first car-specific museum in Germany.
The futuristic silver construction, which outwardly is very closed, looks light and generous inside. Via a rising spiral ramp, the visitor enters five seemingly free-floating platforms that serve as exhibition areas. The nearly circular base of the museum widens from approximately 20 metres to 40 metres in diameter. On platforms four and five, the wide airspace and building expansion becomes possible to experience. The job to interpret this prominent architectural piece anew and lead it into the 21st century was transferred to the studio ATELIER BRÜCKNER. It was a matter of maintaining the original architectural and experiential qualities of the “Museum Bowl”, making it suitable for installations, and uniting this part with a completely new long-term exhibition area. This new exhibition area was housed in an existing adjoining low building, the West Wing of the group headquarters that had served until then as an employee lounge and parking garage. The building was cleared to bearing walls by the Stuttgart architects and given a new dynamic interior. The exhibition space could now be extended from its former size of 1000 to 5000 square metres.