Am Olympiapark 1, 80809 München, Germany
Photo by Saskia Wehler
BMW WeltLocated across from the transparent futurescape of the Olympiapark is BMW Welt, a swirling cloud of glass and steel that serves as the automaker's premier brand experience. Designed by Vienna-based firm Coop Himmelb(l)au and completed in 2007, the BMW Welt building is a 180-meter long conglomeration of automobile delivery stages, lounges, a Forum audience hall, gastronomy event hall, and several other spaces for events and concerts.
Its defining gesture is the iconic swirling, double cone that transforms into an undulating cloud-like roof. The double cone, a typical feature of Coop Himmelb(l)au's work, is a true feat of engineering that supports the dramatic roof, and provides views from its spiral ramp. Ramps and stairs are hung from the roof to reinforce the sense of floating and weightlessness. Not surprisingly, Coop Himmelb(l)au was founded in the late 1960s as a radical practice seeking fantastic architecture as "variable as clouds." At BMW Welt, one can float away before driving off.
Learn more about the Alps of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, and both the region's cultural highlights and natural beauty, at AFAR Journeys.