BMW: a Harsh Mistress

Critics start sounding off on Hadid’s latest, the new BMW Factory in Leipzig.

    BD Online
    The New York Times

    Her new central building unites the existing industrial structures – body shop, paint shop and assembly plan – with adminsitrative elements – laboratory testing, logistics and auditing, public relations and staff healthcare. The design promotes a new social equality among BMW employees – an important element in the automaker’s new organizational philosophy. While Ouroussoff may praise the building as a “sophisticated attempt at social engineering,” he fails to consider that the central building goes so far as the violate the World Health Organisation recommendations. BMW’s philosophy houses both factory workers and office workers in the same working conditions. This means no air conditioning or heating…for anyone.
    From BD’s original report:

    But the white-collar workers could experience temperatures of up to 32 degrees Celsius because the building has no air conditioning and in some instances office workers will be up to 30m from a window. The World Health Organisation recommends 24 degrees as a maximum temperature for working in comfort. The design was only allowed after the local authority decided to take a liberal approach to its building regulations.

    “If the workers sweat in 35 C in the factories during the summer, then the office workers should sweat as well,” said Lars Teichmann, project architect at Zaha Hadid Architects.”

    “If the factory workers have no link to the outside world, then neither have the office workers.”

    The office will reach 32 degrees in the summer. This is not acceptable for regulations, but BMW said it had to happen.