dutch firm MVRDV has revealed plans for a 12-storey mixed-use office building to be constructed in the south german city of esslingen. named ‘the milestone’, the 6,500 square meter structure boasts a distinctive reflective façade with a void at its center. inspired by the appearance of crystallized rock, the interactive elevation is a reinterpretation of esslingen’s topography, and carries messages about the town’s history and people.

mvrdv milestone
all images by MVRDV

 

 

MVRDV’s design responds to the brief set by RVI, for a mixed-use building that ‘brings together the tension between tradition and modernity’. the tower, which will be topped with a public viewing platform, is one of several new projects planned for the area around esslingen’s main railway station. ‘this building shows esslingen to people all who pass by on trains and will become a new symbol to reflect its past heritage and future,’ says winy maas, MVRDV co-founder.

mvrdv milestone
the structure boasts a distinctive reflective façade with a void at its center

 

 

the building’s volume is manipulated to create a fragmented façade that reflects the city’s actual topography and forms an open public walkway through its center. at ground level, the elevation opens up to a public square, which connects the city to the building and provides public amenities including a café, a restaurant, and meeting areas. meanwhile, on the upper levels, offices are envisioned as light, attractive, and flexible spaces.

mvrdv milestone
at ground level, the elevation opens up to a public square

 

 

intriguingly, the fritted glass façade will feature integrated QR codes that will inform visitors about esslingen’s people, landscape, and history. the codes form a pixelated map, publicly accessible via stairs and terraces, which reaches a height of 40 meters. the use of fritted glass also reduces overheating, while photovoltaic cells store and generate energy. construction work is expected to get underway in 2020.

mvrdv milestone

mvrdv milestone

mvrdv milestone
the fragmented façade reflects the city’s actual topography

mvrdv milestone
public amenities include a café, a restaurant, and meeting areas

mvrdv milestone
construction on the project is expected to get underway in 2020

 

 

project info:

 

location: esslingen, germany
year: 2016+
client: RVI, germany
size and program: 6,500 sqm mixed-use building with offices, bar and restaurant
budget: undisclosed
design: MVRDV – winy maas, jacob van rijs and nathalie de vries
design team: winy maas, markus nagler, tobias tonch, christine sohar, alessio palmieri, cheng cai and bartosz kobylakiewicz
visualization: antonio luca coco, kirill emelianov, luca piattelli, pavlos ventouris
images: MVRDV

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