MVRDV to design a new mixed-use office building in Esslingen in the south of Germany – an iconic structure that you can interact with via a smartphone app! |
A former freight depot with a diverse industrial history in the small town of Esslingen am Neckar in the region of Stuttgart, in the south of Germany is being repurposed as a mixed-use building accommodating a university, housing developments and retail stores.
The iconic structure that appears like a huge crystal rock is intended as a landmark that can be viewed from far-off hills and jet-setting trains; and to establish an iconic identity for the small town, the architects strive to generate a building that showcases its pride, its history and its future; at the same time, opens the edifice to the surroundings and the users.
The façade traces the boundaries of Esslingen and the topography of its landscape, which is pushed in through a series of pixels that form an “Esslinger Room”. A series of stairs, terraces, and platforms emerge and lead to the other side, reaching a viewpoint in the shape of the city centre for public use, where visitors can enjoy the views of the vineyards and surrounding hills.
Partially mirrored, with fritted glass containing PV cells that mirror the environment, the town, its hills and its people, the facade shows the pixelated map of the area of Esslingen and around. Each pixel carries different information, featuring the stories of the city and its inhabitants. Accompanied by a smartphone app, one can discover its richness, creating the public library of the town.
On the ground level, the crystal rock opens to the public square located in front, connecting the city with the building and providing public amenities including a restaurant, café and meeting areas. On the upper levels, modern office spaces are created to encourage a healthy work-life balance.
In contrast, at night, the building becomes a beacon for Esslingen, illuminated through its façade, creating an extraordinary atmosphere. This turns the public square in front into a new meeting point for its inhabitants and the city’s next milestone. The building is aptly christened – The Milestone!check out the visuals on indiaartndesign.com
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architecture, iconic architecture, building design, façade, interactive building skin, technology,