The BMW NA Campus joins the existing headquarters with two adjacent parcels: a hillside orchard and a handsome 1970s office complex. Besides unifying these sites, we were to add new Training and Engineering buildings, outdoor event space, and extensive parking.
Given BMW as a client (and competition juror), certain thematics were irresistible: the experience of driving, the scale of the road, and the car as protagonist. The armature of the new campus is the Circuit, a ring road linking up the entire site. Like the Formula 1 racetracks that inspired it, the Circuit is heterogeneous – a formal drive, a winding lane, a perspectival straightaway – but also a singular trajectory that coheres the varied landscapes through which it runs. Within the Circuit are new Training and Engineering facilities that see constant car traffic through their garage-classrooms and research shops. These buildings are dramatically linear both to accommodate interior roads and to span the quarter-mile between the existing HQ and the 1970s complex.
A spur of the Circuit winds onto the display yard between Training and Engineering and gradually sinks below the ground plane into the Car Lobby – an automotive interchange that circles around visitor reception and connects to structured parking. The changing topography allows this apparently subterranean space to look out on the orchards to the north, creating a striking (and car-dependent) spatial inversion.
Sustainability measures include modifiable steel structure, displacement ventilation, spot conditioned high-bay spaces, and photovoltaic roofs with translucent skylights. The site is considered as a productive landscape that yields solar electricity, rainwater, geothermal tempering, and apples from the orchard.