High-profile Dutch firm MVRDV has unveiled its design for an eye-catching new office building in Germany. Named Milestone, the building will sport a large hole in it that will serve as a public space, and will feature both photovoltaic cells and QR codes integrated into its facade.

Likened to a big crystal rock by MVRDV, the Milestone will be located in Esslingen am Neckar, Stuttgart. It will rise to 12 stories and comprise 6,500 sq m (69,965 sq ft) of floorspace. The big chunk missing from it will host stairs, terraces and platforms open to the public, as well as a path right through it. In addition to office space, the building will include a bar and restaurant.

The Milestone's part-mirrored, part-transparent facade will be made from fritted glass, which MVRDV says will reduce overheating. It will also have both photovoltaic cells for electricity production and QR codes integrated. Once scanned with a smartphone and app, the QR codes will provide information on the town's history, people and landscape – the idea is that it'll be a kind of interactive library.

MVRDV was commissioned to design the Milestone by investors RVI and construction is due to begin in 2020. The firm hopes for the building to become a new local landmark for the town, a position currently occupied by an unfortunately-named chimney.

"The transparency of the facade allows an interaction between inside and out, whilst reflecting the daily interactions in the square thus turning the front of the building into a new meeting point," says MVRDV. "In contrast, at night, the building becomes illuminated through its facade and is a new beacon for Esslingen. For train travelers, the current beacon being a large chimney of a former knife factory with the abbreviation of the factory name on its side, spelling the word DICK, which means 'big' in German."

Source: MVRDV

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