BMW Headquarters building

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BMW Headquarters building ( 480x640 )
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The headquarters of BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) is located in Munich, at the Petuelring, directly next to the Olympic village. It is considered to be one of the most notable Munich modern buildings. The complex consists of BMW Tower and BWM Museum.

Its architect, Viennese Karl Schwanzer, had a great idea to accommodate the famous automobile company into the building in the shape of four cylinder engine. It remains also the huge cloverleaf. The BMW buildings were built at the same time as the Olympic park. The construction of the Tower started in 1968 and finished in 1972, the Museum started in 1971 and was finished in 1973, when the entire complex was inaugurated on 18 May.

The construction of BMW Tower was very special and it can be say, that it is actually a hanging building. All the 22 floors were made on ground and then pulled up to the top, each floor suspended from the level above. The cylinders do not stand on the ground but are suspended on a central supporting tower. Each of the cylinders is divided horizontally in its center by a recess in the facade. The height of the building is 101 metres and the diameter is 52 metres.

The conception of the Museum was done by the same architect as with the Tower – Dr. Karl Schwanzer. In comparison with BMW Tower, the Museum was built as a “self-supporting body” – the concrete shell holds the roof. The building looks like upside-down dome, or giant silver egg cup, or salad bowl. It is also said that it is actually the cylinder head.

The building is supported also from inside – by the spiral path rest entirely on the columns. They support the four platforms that increase in size the further up one go. The diameter of the shell is less than 20 metres in its most narrow part, 41 metres at the top. The Museum is 19 metres high. On its roof, there is a big BMW logo.

The museum is one of the most popular company museums in Germany. It presents the technical evolution of the automobile, especially BMW automobile, through during the 20th century in overwhelming multi-media fashion. From veteran chugalong to the newest BMW car, you can find here nearly everything considered important in automobile history. The Museum is usually opened from 9am to 5pm. However now it undergoes a reconstruction and it will be reopened again in 2007.
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