Symmetrical architecture takes on a whole new meaning with this Mirror House by the Italy-based Peter Pichler Architecture. A completely different design at the front, back and sides, this home is trendy, sleek, innovative and modern. At times it looks like something from the future. Other times it looks like a comforting, everyday home. And then there are times when it feels you're seeing double.
This eclectic look is a style not often seen in South Africa but is pulled off with a dramatic, eye-catching effect. The architects have explored the idea of a mirror in every way possible and translated it into an architectural masterpiece. A mirror is defined as
a surface, typically of glass coated with a metal amalgam, which reflects a clear image. Clarity is key in the design with strong lines, symmetrical shapes and a house that ultimately tells quite a story.
Follow us through the Mirror House.
Beginning with the rear of the home, the architects have taken the mirror inspiration to a whole new level. The walls of the house are literally mirrors. This angle shows the rectangle shape of the rear of the house, which almost look like two cubes sitting adjacent to each other. The mirrored walls of these two cubes reflect back the grass, swimming pool, trees and mountains that surround the home. Overall, this adds beautiful depth to the garden area, blending the modern design into the nature around it.
Striking is also the white
ball feature that the architects have placed in the garden, reflected back by the mirrored walls as well as the large swimming pool. Despite its modern look and feel, this is a home where kids will be swimming and playing. It's where skipping will take place on the grass and where Saturday 'braais' will occur. Sleek and modern doesn't mean a lack of warmth or comfort.
This side-angle shot shows how symmetry is used in every way possible when it comes to the exterior of this beautiful home. Place a line down the centre horizontally and you'll see that each side mirrors each other perfectly. To soften this mirror image effect, as well as the stark straight lines around the rest of the exterior, the architects have chosen softer curves for the sides of the house, creating a wave effect with the mirrors and the glass. The glass windows are encased by these 'waves' of the exterior shell of the home, seemingly protecting the inside of the house. Picture a pearl in an oyster.
The darker colours of the exterior building contrasts and complements the lighter glass as well as the light coming from within, again seeming to hold the interior in its grasp. Overall the side of the home flows together, creating a look and feel of paralleled shapes and a safe, cosy interior.
Taking a few steps back, this angle shows how the mirror cubes evolve into the soft curves on the side of the house, creating an interesting shape. It is also clear how large the home is on the property from here. The effect of the mirrors here are also emphasized as the sunset is reflected by the house itself. It truly is a canvas for the outside world and is reminiscent of a large screen often constructed in parks to show movies in the evenings. This, however, is showing the world in its truest sense.
The building could almost be a modern skyscraper in a big city, reflecting the world back at itself, and yet here it is in the middle of the country, reflecting back the beauty that the surrounds have to offer. This picture also shows that this house is just as beautiful at night as it is in the day time and works for all seasons. It depicts a universal beauty.
The front of the house shows the mirror cubes without the mirror, which are instead replaced by beautiful big glass windows and doors. You can see straight into the home from here, which contains stylish furniture, plenty of clean, white light and a sense of comfort waiting just behind the glass. Most striking, however, is the symmetry between the two cubes despite the fact that they are not quite next to each other or adjacent. Blink and it looks like you're seeing double.
This is because yet another facet of the mirror concept is being explored here by Peter Pichler Architecture and again it centres around the idea of likeness or sameness. Draw a line down the middle of this photograph vertically and each side looks very much like a mirror of each other. Despite the seeing-double effect, the front of the house is soft and welcoming. Neutral, earthy tones are used inside the house while the outside remains minimalist and trendy.
The view from the inside of the Mirror House, if possible, is even more extraordinary than the view from the outside. The beautifully curved windows open up to reveal a picturesque countryside, surrounded by mountains and trees. The interior designers have complemented the natural beauty of the surrounds by opting for neutral furniture that isn't too loud or edgy. White is a colour used strongly throughout the interior from the finishes on the chairs to the table to the lampshade to the walls to the curtains.
This picture also shows how much of a role natural light plays inside the house. The glass windows allow for this, filtering in an abundance of sunshine. This is an eco-conscious and sustainable design, showing that the environment around the home has truly been considered. This is a place where families, friends and loved ones want to be seated, taking in the views while enjoying the comfort of the home.
The mirror inspiration has not been forgotten when it comes to the interior of the Mirror House. This photograph shows that mirrors are a common feature throughout, reflecting back the style and design of the house. The use of mirrors inside the house helps to create space and light throughout. Notice how this little nook is opened up by the use of this large mirror. The light that is streaming in through the glass windows is also reflected by this mirror, lighting up this section of the house.
It's also clear to see that white continues to be a theme within the Mirror House from this photograph. The diversity of the exterior is thus offset by the minimalist neutral interior. The Mirror House is an extraordinary piece of architecture, showing how an incredibly modern building can still complement nature and its beauty.
If you enjoy how nature and modern can collide check out: A Fantastically Modernised Farmhouse.