BMW Plant Leipzig, Central Area

The bare chassis silently meander right through the offices at the BMW works in Leipzig: Zaha Hadid designed this spectacular link building between the shop floors which reflects the dynamics of the marque in both architecture and lighting.

A milestone in industrial architecture: the dynamic use of forms by the architect Zaha Hadid not only successfully translates the values of the BMW marque into a tangible image, but also optimally satisfies the complex functional requirements of today’s production processes. The Central Building links together the various parts of the works, which are housed in comparatively conventional factory units, and is simultaneously the office building for the control and administration of the plant. Open, cascading terraces of office space foster communicative relationships. Conveyor systems routed openly through the room transport the vehicles in various stages of completion this way and that throughout the building, giving the workers continuous contact with the product.

Daylight dominates the interior, thanks to a copiously glazed roof. To avoid any shadows from the transport bridges, their undersides are fitted with integrated Lightcast Downlights for metal halide lamps. These provide high luminous flux – adjusted to suit each particular room height by using different wattages – combined with optimum anti-glare protection via Darklight reflector technology.

The raw, bare concrete surfaces of the building shell and main corpus are host to scenic lighting effects in the corporate colour blue. These surfaces become an eye-catching orientation point in the space continuum. The lighting designers from Equation Lighting specified cantilever-mounted Parscoop Washlights for this task. The light from the blue-coloured metal halide lamps is so intense that the effect clearly stands out even in the daylight.

The thoroughfares are very generously proportioned since the entire workforce has to use them at the start and finish of the shifts. Light is also used here to add structure to the bare concrete surfaces: double-focus downlights for metal halide lamps illuminate these thoroughfares with precisely scalloped beams providing high visual comfort. This results in contrasting zones – zones in which the intensive, coloured light of blue metal halide lamps is once again used, only this time fitted in lens wallwashers in order to tone the wall zones with an absolutely even colour.

Werk Leipzig
BMW Allee 1
04349 Leipzig

Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher, London

Lighting design:
Equation Lighting Design, London

Gross floor area: 27,000 m²
Construction start: 2002
Completion: 2004
Official opening: May 2005

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