Our concept is based upon the BMW factory being concealed, secretive yet fascinating – a beautiful mystery full of dreams.
There are no factory buildings visible as the wind gently moves the silver-white curtains, creating a landscape theatre. Occasionally, the curtain lifts or moves apart to give glimpses of the stage where cars are made.
The road that leads to BMW from the motorway is exceptional. It is given the same level of aesthetic consideration as the buildings.
Externally, the undulating silver-white curtains, while concealing the three adjacent production buildings provide the edges to the long and wide Central Building. From within, four blades of light (‘Die Strahlen’), orientated north-south, spatially structure the Central Building.
The Workplace Theatre has suspended curved roofs and a white stage floor. This Workplace Theatre is composed of conveyor belts sliding through and between suspended glass Light Reservoirs. The Workplace Theatre is functional and adaptable.
Employees are connected to each other across the floor by carefully laid routes, ‘connected’ to the manufacturing process through conveyors overhead and to the outside through the Light Reservoirs. Lines of Light and moveable sets (furniture and screens) identify the pathways. These pathways are flexible enough to change as the business changes i.e. elastic team spaces.
The BMW Landmark is the total theatrical environment created by the concept. It is first seen from the Motorway and extraordinary perimeter road as a vast landscape sculpture of vertical and horizontal planes, predominantly white and silver, misty foliage and grasses.
Ian Ritchie Architects were one of nine international teams selected for the final stage of the competition in 2002 and one of four finally interviewed.