BMW Group München, FIZ

Signage and Orientation System

The FIZ Re­search and In­no­va­tion Cen­tre in Mu­nich is the heart of the world­wide re­search and de­vel­op­ment net­work of the BMW Group. Built in 1986, the area has grown con­sid­er­ably, ex­pand­ing into the sur­round­ing ur­ban space and be­com­ing more com­pact in or­der to pro­vide space for the ap­prox­i­mately 25,000 peo­ple who work there. In 2015, HENN de­vel­oped a mas­ter­plan to of­fer a vi­sion up to the year 2050. More trans­par­ent, bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion, di­rect routes and con­nec­tions to the city quar­ters should cre­ate op­ti­mal con­di­tions for the fu­ture, a cre­ative at­mos­phere which favours the in­no­va­tion and in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary na­ture of the fields – or­gan­ised along a cen­tral axis.

BMW Group Mu­nich, FIZ
Sig­nage and Ori­en­ta­tion Sys­tem
Mas­ter Con­cept
Out­door and In­door Ar­eas

Mu­nich 2015 on­go­ing

BMW Group


800,000 sqm



Prod­uct De­sign

Moni­teurs with Axel Ku­fus


25,000 em­ploy­ees, vis­i­tors and ser­vice providers 7,000 test ve­hi­cles


Ste­fan Schilling

Moniteurs emerged from an international competition as an expert team with an orientation concept, which centres this thoroughfare as an important principle of organisation. Orientation plays an increasingly important role in the conception of new offices and workspaces at complex corporate sites. Flexible workplaces and the ability to rapidly locate colleagues, meeting rooms, laboratories and workshops make matters of mobility ever more relevant. In addition, in relation to the newly developed BMW Group CI, this resulted in an exciting conceptual and design task for Moniteurs, which we worked on with the designer Axel Kufus and the materials expert Klaudia Kruse. The signage master concept, which in particular takes expansion and variability as its themes, is now being implemented. The first building, the newly renovated reception building, has already been planned and built according to the new concept.

The di­vi­sion into sec­tions (Magis­tralen­meter) serves the pur­pose of rough ori­en­ta­tion and cre­ates a struc­ture that al­lows all tar­get points to be lo­cated in con­text.
Totems with lo­ca­tion plans are at de­ci­sion points to clar­ify the cross­ing points be­tween in­di­vid­ual build­ings and to of­fer rough ori­en­ta­tion within the plant.

The master concept covers three thematic areas: the structural concept as the fundamental basis for establishing areas and markings, interfaces for mobile wayfinding and the design of the corporate signage for the entire plant. During the conceptual process, several workshops were held with the relevant stakeholders, such as brand communication, safety and facility management, among others. To tailor the new concept to the needs of the users, the content schedule was developed in close cooperation with the BMW Group and edited in an iterative process. The result was captured in an extensive manual, in which the fundamental concepts are explained and the formulated principles shown.

With the 2016 ren­o­va­tion, the new sig­nage sys­tem con­cept was in­stalled in the re­cep­tion build­ing.
Work­ing to­gether: ana­logue sig­nage for per­ma­nent in­for­ma­tion, and dig­i­tal el­e­ments for dy­namic con­tent, such as events and meet­ings in the con­fer­ence zone. The “header el­e­ment”, with the build­ing num­ber and level, may be placed on the totem or wall signs, and pro­vides in­for­ma­tion about the cur­rent lo­ca­tion.
An­gle of in­ci­dence equals an­gle of re­flec­tion: the retro-re­flec­tive ma­te­r­ial throws the light back at the same an­gle as it comes in, un­like con­ven­tional sur­faces.

On all signage elements, a retro-reflective film forms a high-quality surface creating an interesting light effect. This is particularly noticeable as the user moves around it. The materiality underscores the identity of the BMW Group and creates an association with transport, engineering, safety and sport.

The “corporate signage family” is built modularly. Formats and sizes relate to one another and result in a homogeneous system. The diversity of types and functions enables the system to be applied to vastly different spatial situations, i.e., to transfer it to other locations around the world.