BMW Plant 10 Technical Training Center

This new 127,000 GSF Technical Training Center building at BMW’s existing Plant 10 manufacturing campus in Spartanburg, SC, was developed as part a comprehensive master plan to expand BMW’s training facilities while creating a new “front door experience” that provides “a local, South Carolina feel for a German building” and a “place of cultural exchange” not just through a building, but through the larger relationship of buildings and landscape.

Design Challenge

1. SITE BMW requested the design establish a new “front door experience” to their entire campus and provide “a local, South Carolina feel for a German building,” in order to establish “a place of cultural exchange.” In needed to be both iconic and functional, and to create an emotional reaction that could serve as a recruiting tool, solidifying BMW as an attractive employer. The brief also required that the “landscape be considered as a critical, unifying element larger than all the buildings." RESPONSE: The XHOF is large space scaled to create an emotional arrival experience and with adaptable features including shade trees, seating, water elements and a varied number of daily-use gathering areas, while still capable of supporting major gatherings. The space is bounded by a perimeter wall of monumental quality. But it is also unexpectedly ephemeral and porous, allowing light into the adjacent buildings while blocking the intense SW sun. This screen-wall identifies with BMW’s signature vertical white metal fin panels, and creates an entry porch between the screen and each of the surrounding buildings. 2. 2. BUILDING The project should be highly sustainable and representative of BMW’s approach to environmental responsibility. While primarily a training facility and factory-like setting, the interiors should be “warm and welcoming with visual connectivity between floors and with other buildings on site.” RESPONSE: While oriented in relation to BMW’s existing site grid, the Technical Training Center building adapts each exterior building feature, the skylights, south-facing windows screened by the XHOF walls, the upper level exterior terrace overlooking the entire campus – to establish a simple but complex interior environment. The design approach is simple - as a factory nothing exists that isn’t a functional requirement the building creates an inviting interior through controlled natural light, big volumes and exposed structure made of natural materials.

Physical Context

The existing site is a densely wooded, but relatively new ‘forest’ of pine and undergrowth that have overtaken former peach orchards – surrounded by the I-85 freeway, a state road, and the existing 10m square foot production plant (west campus). Partially developed over the last decade by BMW, the east campus area contains two existing buildings that are isolated from each other by vast surface parking lots.