Schott: Reflective Transparency Metamorphosis Glass “Mirona” Spices Up BMW Conference Hall

The “four-cylinder” building located inside Munich’s Olympiapark has helped create public awareness of BMW for many years now.

After all, this is where the BMW Group pulls all of the strings in the more than 150 countries it operates in. Karl Schwanzer, an architecture professor from Vienna, completed the building just in time for the Olympic Games in 1972. It consists of around four 100 meter high cylinders that are positioned crosswise. From 2004 until 2006, it was subjected to complete renovation and modernization measures that were supervised by the Hamburg based architectural firm ASP Schweger Assoziierte Gesamtplanung GmbH.

The decision was made to redesign the conference rooms, as well. Plans called for installing several large format TV monitors in one of the rooms, without allowing them to become distracting. In order to meet this challenge, a total of 40 square meters of the specialized glass “Mirona” from SCHOTT were mounted onto the front side of the tables. As long as the monitor behind the pane is turned off, this surface acts as a mirror. Once the monitor is turned on, however, the glass provides a clear view of the screen.

This effect is achieved with the help of an extremely thin, burned in titanium oxide coating, but also thanks to the unique way in which light is refracted with reflection and transmission. In front of a dark surface, the optical interference coated mineral glass acts as a mirror, providing a silvery, esthetic brilliance. In front of a light background or backlighting, it suddenly becomes transparent. “Mirona is truly something very special with respect to its lighting performance, color and processing capabilities. The ability of this glass to appear transparent on the one hand, yet serve as a reflective surface on the other, enabled us to integrate the monitors into the conference room in a rather discreet manner,” says Günter Bauer, Managing Director of Bauer innovativ GmbH in Altötting, Germany. His company constructed the tables for use in the conference room.

“The functional transition from glass to a mirror offers enormous potential for premium quality applications, particularly interior decorators, designers and shop fitters. At the press of a button, lighting fixtures, partitions or basic mirrored wall paneling can be turned into elegant design objects with the help of Mirona,” explains SCHOTT product manager Stephan Pfaff.

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