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Published: Friday, June 09, 2006

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BMW Central Building, Plant Leipzig

Designed by Architect Zaha Hadid, the BMW Central Building represents a radical new interpretation of open office landscape.

By: Zaha Hadid Architects

Architecture-Page | BMW Central Building, Plant Leipzig by Zaha Hadid Architects - view 4
The primary organizing strategy is the scissor-section connecting the ground floor and first floor in a continuous field.

The primary organising strategy is the scissor-section connecting the ground floor and first floor in a continuous field.

Two sequences of terraced plates, like giant staircases, step up from north to south and from south to north capturing a long connective void between them.

One cascade commences close to the public lobby overlooking the forum to reach the first floor in the middle of the building. The other starts with offices at the south end moving up to meet the first cascade then moving all the way up to the space projecting over the entrance.

At the bottom of this void is the auditing area as a central focus of everybody's attention. Above the void 'open to view' the half-finished cars move along their tracks between the various surrounding production units.

The cascading floor plates are large enough to allow for flexible occupation patterns.

The advantage here lies in the articulation of recognisable domains within an overall field. With a global field, it opens up to visual communication more possible than with a single flat floor plate.

The integration of workers is facilitated by an overall transparency of the internal organisation. The mixing of functions avoid the traditional segregation of status groups.

A series of engineering and administrative functions are located within the trajectory of the manual workforce's daily movements.

White collar functions are located both on ground and first floor. Equally Blue Collar social spaces are located on both floors thus preventing the establishment of exclusive domain.

The intrinsic problems of a large car-park in front of a building were avoided by turning it into a dynamic spectacle in its own right.

The inherent dynamism of vehicle movement and the 'lively' field of car bodies is revealed in the arrangement of parking lots which let the whole field move, colour and sparkle with swooping trajectories culminating within the building. Here cars swoop underneath, setting down visitors into the glazed public lobby allowing views deep into the building.

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