MVRDV plans office building in south germany with reflective fragmented façade

MVRDV plans office building in south germany with reflective fragmented façade

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

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    504,067 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    designboom magazine