Munich Airport

Powering the Future of E-Mobility with Cutting-Edge Architecture

The Audi Brand Experience Center at Munich Airport combines sustainable architecture with a recharging station for electric cars.

06/10/2020 Text: Bernd Zerelles Photos: Peter Zauner Architektur Reading Time: 3 min

Each floor of the Audi Brand Experience Center offers a huge amount of space.

Stunning Architecture, Sustainable Design

These days, it’s not just Audi that’s committed to building a sustainable future. Modern architecture places just as much emphasis on environmental sustainability as it does on aesthetically appealing design. The Audi Brand Experience Center at Munich Airport delivers on both fronts. A 30 x 30 meter cube, the first of three planned modules, floats freely in the air, supported solely by four internal columns. The center is divided into multiple floors by a series of reinforced concrete slabs.

Audi commissioned Munich architect Peter Zauner to design the center: “The brief was to create an eco-friendly event venue for up to 2,000 people. The ‘flexible box’ concept makes it incredibly versatile and multifunctional.”

The Brand Experience Center has two fully glazed facades, offering unrestricted views to east and west, with entrances on both sides. The center’s temperature control system is powered by geothermal energy. Pipes
that can be used for both heating and cooling are installed in the walls and the slabs between the floors, making the building eco-friendly and cost-effective to run.

The entire exterior of the Audi Brand Experience Center is paned with glass.
View from the east: the front facade of the Audi Brand Experience Center; in front is the dynamic driving experience area. Black solar panels are clearly visible in the glass facade. The most striking feature is the multifunctional two-story box, encased in a silver frame. In the future, the left-hand part of the building will form a connecting bridge to a second module.
The sun shines through the glass facade, casting shadows on the steps.
The large interior spaces can be divided up using walls as and when required.
This interior view of the second floor shows one of the four supporting columns. Each story offers 530 square meters of floor space. White walls can be used to temporarily divide up the space as and when required.

Harnessing Surplus Solar Energy to Charge Audi e-trons

What makes the building truly unique is the 1,650 solar cells integrated into the glass facades, with a total combined area of 450 square meters. The solar panels deliver 42,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, roughly equivalent to the annual power consumption of ten four-person households and far more than the building’s own energy needs. The surplus is stored in two battery storage devices with a capacity of 320 kilowatt hours, which Audi made from second-life batteries.

Sophie Scholl is responsible for events at the Audi Campus at Munich Airport, which includes the Audi Brand Experience Center. She explains: “To coincide with the launch of the Audi e-tron, the Audi Brand Experience Center has been built with the first-ever all-green charging system for our electric fleet.”

Instead of surplus electricity being returned to the grid, a smart energy management system uses it to power six public charging points in front of the building. In an ideal-case scenario, the charging points run solely off solar energy, but there’s a back-up system in case the batteries run out due to a lack of sun. Two of the six charging points are 150-kilowatt rapid chargers. These terminals supplement Audi’s 78 existing charging points at Munich Airport, making it one of the largest contiguous charging parks in all of Europe.

In front of the building are six charging terminals for Audi e-trons.
The main building materials for the Audi Brand Experience Center are concrete and glass.

A Building That Embodies Audi’s Transformation

Audi has been constantly expanding the Audi Campus at Munich Airport for over 20 years. The Brand Experience Center is the latest addition, joining the myAudi sphere, the Audi Conference Center, and three other Audi training centers.

The Audi Brand Experience Center is more than just an international training center for Audi staff. As Horst Hanschur, who as Vice President Retail Business Development and Customer Services is responsible for the center, explains, “It’s designed to be a central venue for Audi events. So it needs to embody the company’s transformation into a sustainable mobility provider.”

Audi intends to make all its production locations worldwide carbon-neutral by 2025, and to achieve carbon-neutrality company-wide by no later than 2050. The Audi Brand Experience Center is both an expression of and an inspiration for this ambition.

The building has three stories.

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