BMW World - BMW WELT - splits the sky like the prow of a ghost ship or a surreal iceberg. Its inspiration is actually a tornado, and the silhouette does remind of a whirlwind; the impression it gives is indeed powerful. BMW Welt is the Bavarian automotive giant's giant showroom, a veritable combining the display of the company's cars with other facilities like a BMW style shop, a restaurant, a children's centre and several other facilities. I almost ran into a round robot that was cleaning the floor - but as befits the high technology on display here, the robot evaded me in time. Horsepower seems secondary here; image is everything. By paying an additional sum, BMW fanatics can get their car here rather than at a dealer's, driving the vehicle away from its rotating display. This ceremony begets added value, of course. The author of the technologically intricate complex was the Viennese architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, and the sheer scale of it makes BMW Welt an adventure no matter what your feelings about the company's cars are. The breadth of the space beneath the glass cloud is quite simply overwhelming.
The BMW MUSEUM annex was constructed in 2008. It is joined to BMW Welt by an enchanting passageway - you can see the foothills of the Bavarian Alps and gaze upon another iconic structure, the stadium built for the 1972 Olympics. The museum, which resembles a massive steel soup bowl, was built in 1973. The annex greatly expanded the space. The exhibits cover ninety years of BMW history, arrayed a long a winding ramp that might the runway of a Chanel show choreographed by Lagerfeld. There are no other walkways, so a visitor is certain to see all seven exhibits. The idea for this ramp dates to the original circular conception of the older museum, which is like the spiral continuation of a road. I for one must admit that I'd never been attracted to BMWs seen in city streets, but a walk through the museum did indeed kindle my interest. The developers of the exhibit have done everything possible to effect that; the cars are displayed with the aplomb of art at the Guggenheim. The exhibits begin with an impressive, poetic kinetic sculpture composed of 714 dancing spheres that shift and flow to finally form the silhouette of a retro car. One can also admire the 1916 BMW airplane engine, the company's first, as well as motorcycles from the Second World War, cars made more colourful by artists, roadsters, racing cars and limousines. Nothing is superfluous - these marvels of engineering are displayed in an ascetic manner. The historic "soup bowl" is now devoted to changing exhibits.Share it:
Keywords: museum, Munich