- The Washington Times - Friday, August 15, 2008

MUNICH — BMW has renewed and expanded its museum that opened in 1973.

The BMW Museum has been enlarged by a five fold extension of the exhibition area.

When creating the original building, architect Karl Schwanzer took the endless road in an enclosed space as a theme. That has now also been used for the new building, where roads and walkways connect seven separate exposition ‘houses,’ offering a stage to more than 120 cars and motor bikes.

Since November 2007, 1.5 million visitors found their way to the museum and BMW expects that the number of 250,000 visitors that yearly came to the museum will grow to annually 400,000.

The Chairman of the Board of Management said: “Our vehicles are not really intended for a museum — aside from the Art Cars. Our automobiles and motorcycles belong on the road. The main function of museums is to document history.”

The new BMW Museum is worth a visit. Several concept cars, such as the ‘egg’, the Isetta which BMW built from 1955, or the B2R hydrogen record car have a prominent place. The extension with its seven ‘houses’ offers the themes Company, Design, Motorcycle, Engineering, Motor Sport, Brand and Series. As the atmosphere and space are so modern, visitors hardly feel they are in a museum. That is exactly what BMW was after: to have the BMW brand associated with lifestyle, which runs as a red thread through the Museum. But most important is the refreshing look at history, present and future BMW. With the use of high tech lighting, video and audio, the Bavarians have shed the dusty image of old time museums.

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