The spectacular BMW’s headquarters and showroom in Milan combines the engineering strengths of Pilkington Planar™ with the functionality of Pilkington Optiwhite™.
It is an excellent example of symbiotic relationship between glass technology and research and development demonstrated in the construction where the stringent specification required the building to reflect the company’s corporate characteristics, state of the art technology and aesthetic appeal. This meant that no support structure could be visible below a height of 3.5 m, with the glass unimpaired by tinting to allow uninterrupted and clear views of the cars inside. A minimalist approach was the key to the design brief, and a modified version of the Pilkington Planar™ frameless glazing system was the solution.
The desired effect was achieved through the development of more than 20 new types of fittings, including fittings to splice the vertical mullions together preventing buckling, fittings allowing movement between roof and ground, and fittings to support the facade where installation of a mullion at the corner position was not an option. For visual appearance, 12 mm Pilkington Optiwhite™ glass was specified, which has a low iron content, resulting in clearer glass with no distortion tint and a high light transmission, in this case up to 91%. The project which was undertaken by architects, Kenzo Tange is a testament to the versatility of both products and Pilkington expertise to provide bespoke solutions to specific problems.