The BMW 2012 Olympic Park Pavilion
When Award-Winning Design Meets BMW for the London 2012 Olympic Park Pavilion, you get a stunning mirage of vehicles on display inside of a spectacular structure.To kick off the 2012 Olympics, BMW unveils their London 2012 Olympic Park Pavilion with several new MINI and BMW cars for visitors to view including the new BMW i8 and i3 Concepts.The eccentric design of the pavilion was conceived from an award-winning British architecture firm. The design inspires BMW’s longstanding commitment to design and sustainability with a glimpse into the future.
The Pavilion is sited between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre and will use water from the Waterworks River for an elegant ‘water curtain’ feature and sustainable cooling system. Further reflecting BMW’s commitment to innovation and the environment, the two-story, 800 square meter superstructure will be constructed from recycled steel.
Principal architect Christopher Lee comments: “The design takes the idea of the pavilion in the park–the Victorian bandstand–but instead of one pavilion we envision nine pavilions clustered together to form a family.” Standalone pavilions on the top level will highlight BMW’s latest vehicle innovations and the lower level will be programmed with interactive visitor exhibits.
Designed by an award-winning British architecture firm the BMW Group Pavilion appears to float on the river with water cascading down its façade leading to a constantly changing look. Positioned prominently overlooking the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre the two storey pavilion is used to showcase current BMW models in addition to concept cars.
Described as ‘light and open’ the lower floor of the pavilion is dedicated to the cars and bikes that make up the London 2012 Games fleet with interactive displays for guests to learn more about the cars and the company itself. The top deck comprises of nine individual pavilions displaying concepts and future models such as the i3 and i8, a MINI Rocketman bedecked in Union Jack paintwork, E-Scooter and I Pedelec mobility options and the new generation 3 Series Touring.
The water used for the cool cascade effect is taken from the Waterworks River, filtered, cools the building as it falls around it before returning to the river again.
The final countdown to London 2012 has begun and BMW Group today unveiled their Olympic Park Pavilion, expected to draw thousands of visitors each day of the Games.
Conceived by an award-winning British architecture firm, the BMW Group Pavilion represents a significant architectural addition to the Olympic Park, showing an exciting range of the company’s latest vehicles against the backdrop of the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre. The structure also underlines the company’s longstanding commitment to design and sustainability with an array of individual rooftop pavilions exhibiting current models as well as concept cars of the future.
The Pavilion is light and open, appearing to ‘float’ on the river as water flows down the sides of the structure to create a constantly changing façade, whilst simultaneously accentuating its position on an elevated platform on the Waterworks River. The lower floor exhibition area is dedicated to the London 2012 Games fleet and interactive displays for guests to learn more about the BMW Group’s vision for the future of individual transport, its approach to sustainability and wider London 2012 partnership activities. These include how the Group has helped elite and aspiring athletes on their road to 2012 and brought improvements to the sporting world through technology. Also on display are prototype models including the BMW E-Scooter and the BMW i Pedelec concept – a recently announced concept electrically-assisted bicycle, and a new-look MINI Rocketman Concept, a revised version of the original Rocketman concept, first seen at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Inspired by London 2012 and paying tribute to our capital, the new MINI Rocketman has a Union Jack-inspired colour scheme.
In an intimate cinema space a special film is shown before an opportunity to view the upper floor product displays. The top deck, comprising of nine individual rooftop pavilions, displays current and future BMW Group vehicles including the BMW i3 Concept, the BMW i8 Concept and the new generation BMW 3 Series Touring.
Tim Abbott, Managing Director, BMW Group UK comments: “The role of the Pavilion is two-fold – to explain the support we’re providing as the Official Automotive Partner to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, but also to provide a powerful visual symbol of our commitment to the highest standards of innovation in design and sustainability. We look forward to welcoming visitors and guests to the BMW Group Pavilion throughout the Games.”
Water plays a central role in the Pavilion’s design. The Waterworks River provides the water, which is filtered and used to cool the building as it flows down the walls, before being returned to the river. The upper floor is surrounded by water, reflecting views of the Olympic Park and each of the rooftop pavilions has a distinctive, light roof and slender, straight columns, designed to complement other Olympic Park structures including the Velodrome.
Principal architect Christopher Lee comments: “As a British-based practice, we were delighted to be selected to work with BMW Group for the UK’s first Olympic and Paralympic Games since 1948. It’s not every day that one has the opportunity to work with a brand like BMW on such a global stage and we are proud that the finished result will be seen by thousands of people during London 2012.”
In line with BMW Group’s commitment to sustainability, the environment was a key consideration in the design of the company’s 800m2 Pavilion. As well as the filtering and recycling of the river water, steel with high recycled content provides the structural backbone and use of other carbon-intensive materials such as concrete has been minimised.
The BMW Group Pavilion will be accessible throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games to all Olympic Park visitors and provides an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the company’s latest innovations and role at the Games first-hand.
The British have a particular fondness for the Victorian bandstand. Not much more than a lightweight roof supported on slender columns the idea of the bandstand is to get close to nature by stripping back the architecture to a minimum. There is no role for exotic form and shape-making: the architecture’s beauty comes not from itself but rather from its open attitude to its natural surroundings.
With the Victorian bandstand as a point of departure, the BMW Group Pavilion seeks a similar relationship to its setting. In practice, this has involved addressing questions of spectacle and presence, of the relationship to BMW’s product and service offering, and of sustainability.
Positioned directly on the Waterworks River in the Olympic Park the pavilion required a certain presence and aesthetic interest. This is achieved by re-imagining the classical podium — the base that thrusts the architecture upwards — as something completely immaterial or ethereal, but with even more power to excite and inspire. The traditional plinth is massive and heavy. The pavilion plinth is immaterial, light, and animated: water streams down around the ground floor creating a constantly changing facade. The first floor that forms the plinth is covered with water; this water spills down on all four sides of the pavilion entirely covering the ground floor. This urban water wall therefore forms a liquid podium apparently supporting the delicate pavilions above it. We envisage the water doing more than creating an exciting visual effect. The surface of the first floor is essentially a thin reflective pool. This pool reflects its environment: the cars, the visitors and the Olympic site. The flowing water also creates an enclosure. The pavilion is thus able to capture the intimacy and ‘other worldliness’ associated with life behind the waterfall. But above all, the waterfall creates excitement through animation, noise, and constant change.
One of the pavilion’s functions is to display BMW’s new fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles. These vehicles use carbon fibre bodywork with fluid soft curves. The geometry of the pavilion roofs manifests a similar calm and rationale attitude to geometry through the use of off-phase sinusoidal curves set out in symmetrical arrangement. The dynamism of this form is a function of the immediate associations: wave forms, fluid dynamics, air flow all incorporate similar patterns. What is important here is that this form is an abstraction of these associations. The geometry does not imitate or in any sense look like something else: it is therefore best understood as the idea of fluidity.
The pavilion itself is conceived not as one mega-form but rather as a family of smaller pavilions. The original architectural conceit was of a group of pavilions huddled close together during the Olympics — but at the end of the Games dispersed to other locations. Each pavilion would find a new home within a natural setting. The pavilions would represent a constant reminder of the Olympics. This idea has a symbolic resonance: it reinforces the connection with the environment. This connection with things natural is at the heart of sustainability.
Project name: The BMW 2012 Olympic Park Pavilion
Location: Olympic Park, London, England, United Kingdom
Type: Pavilion, Showroom
Use: London 2012 BMW Group Pavilion
Project Area: 1,500 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Completion Year: summer 2012
Client / Owner / Developer: BMW (AG)
Architects: Serie Architects, Unit 2P Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London, N1 3QP, United Kingdom
Design Team: Chris Lee, Bolam Lee, Martin Jameson, Patrick Usbourne, Simon Whittle, Fei Wu, Kapil Gupta and Santosh Thorat
Physical Model: Huida Xia and Lola Lozano
Executive Architect: Franken Architekten
Structural Engineering: AKT II
Mechanical Engineering: Atelier Ten
Water Feature Specialist: Fountains Direct
Project Managers: KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike
Text Description: © Courtesy of BMW Group, bmwblog, automotiveaddicts
Images: © BMW Group, Edmund Sumner; Clive Barker (aerial)