25 diciembre 2009

BMW Welt

(Texto extraído de la página oficial del BMW Welt)

A structure with flexible and transparent rooms: In December 2001, following in-depth debates, the board of the BMW AG has voted in favour of the architectural concept by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU. The outstanding concept of the BMW Welt is characterised very much by the unique roof structure and the so-called Double Cone.

Photo: Jorge Estévez García

The 16,000 m² of cloud roof which emanates from the forming Double Cone is only carried by twelve hinged columns and creates the impression that it is floating. In its basic system, it consists of an upper and a lower girder grillage with a basic grid of five by five metres. Between the layers, diagonal struts are inserted which link the two layers of girder grillage, hereby creating a spatial supporting structure.

Photo: Jorge Estévez García

The Double Cone which protrudes prominently from the entire building acts as a powerful and dynamic eye-catcher. The cyclone made of glass and steel, winding upwards, ending in the roof which is suspended freely, floating just like a cloud, is created by a dynamic deformation of the two girder layers and constitutes one of the main supporting points of the roof.

Photo: Jorge Estévez García

4.000 tons of steel were employed in the construction of the BMW Welt. About a quarter of this was used for the Double Cone alone. It is 28 metres high and has a perimeter of 48 metres with the waist break being at 14 metres which is exactly in the middle. Each steel section was produced using an individual template and was only allowed to deviate from the specifications by 2 millimetres. Important data cables are fed through these sections.

The Double Cone ends with the “Ringbeam“, a ring that distributes the load of the roof evenly and diverts it into the ground through the facades. From the point of view of statics the roof and the Double Cone are really one piece. However, the Double Cone is simultaneously an important supporting point for the 16,000 m² roof structure.

Photo: Jorge Estévez García

In order to make the roof seem like a floating cloud, a very small number of visible columns is essential. There are merely eleven columns to carry this roof which could span St. Mark’s Square in Venice.

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