Great attention was paid disabled access during the planning and construction of the BMW Welt building. The aim was to make all the facilities at BMW Welt available to everybody, including older people and people with disabilities. Numerous structural solutions have been implemented to make it easier for these visitors to move around the building.
Thanks to its central location in the vicinity of the Olympic park, BMW Welt is easy to reach for visitors with restricted mobility. The underground stations at the Olympic park are equipped with escalators and lifts.
Both BMW Welt itself and all the facilities inside the building have entrances that are suitable for wheelchair access. The bridge connecting BMW Welt with the BMW Museum and the BMW Group Plant has a gradient of less than 6%, as does the ramp at the northern entrance, making them suitable for use by wheelchair users. The ramp at the northern entrance also has a flat intermediate landing, where visitors can pause to catch their breath.
LIFTS AND STAIRS.
The large dimensions of the spaces within BMW Welt make it easy for wheelchair users to move around. Numerous lifts are available connecting the different levels, which are fitted with low-positioned control panels to facilitate operation by wheelchair users.
Special attention was paid to the design of the stairs. The banisters are attached at a constant height of 85 cm, offering a secure hold for visitors who are a bit unsteady on their feet. These banisters extend approximately 30 cm beyond the end of the staircase, ensuring that visitors have a secure hold until they are standing safely on the floor or landing. A bend in the handrail signals to blind and partially sighted people that the staircase is about to come to an end, whether at the top or bottom of the stairs. In addition, the entire length of the first and last steps features a high-contrast strip.
A balanced lighting level is employed to prevent visitors being dazzled. This means that there are no abrupt transitions between lighter and darker areas at BMW Welt.
In addition to structural disabled access solutions, special guided tours are available on request for people with visual and hearing disabilities, and are especially designed to meet the needs of these visitors. They take into account the fact that such tours require more time, and include appropriate care of the tour participants. Specially trained guides are employed to conduct tours of BMW Welt for visitors with visual disabilities in groups of three to six people plus their carers. Those with hearing disabilities are given tours with explanations in sign language, with interesting and exciting information provided to supplement the building’s information panels. Wheelchair users can take part in regular BMW Welt tours and experience all areas of BMW Welt with the exception of the stopping point to view the daily storage of vehicles. Visitors with impaired vision are permitted to take a guide dog with them.