Covering a home or structure in mirrors is not a new idea, but it’s more about the natural surroundings that makes it seem like a novel idea every time someone does it. From the reflective treehouse hotel in northern Sweden to Phillip K. Smith III’s Lucid Stead installation in Joshua Tree National Park, the general design thought is the same, but the results couldn’t look more different. And now we have artist Doug Aitken to thank for the newest root of our wanderlust.
For two years, you’ll have the chance to see Aitken’s mirrored-covered Mirage home among the mountain Gstaad, Switzerland. The idea is that visitors will have the opportunity to see this home during all seasons, from being blanket in snow to reflecting the lush green of the pastures.
The single-story home is not an accommodation for design-minded travelers, as many of its similar structures are. The Mirage home is a transient attraction, meant to be explored for a short period of time by anyone who finds themselves in the area.
This isn’t the first time Mirage has been open—literally, the door constantly stands open to visitors. Aitken previously assembled the structure, with a few tweaks both times, in 2017 in Palm Springs and again in a former bank in Detroit in 2018. The style of the home has remained the same: ranch, inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and similar architecture of the American West in the 1920s and 1930s.
The actual installation in the Swiss Alps took three months during the wintertime, according to design news website Dezeen. “The work really is the sum of the landscape around it,” Aitken shared in an interview with Dezeen. “When you think of art you often think of something much more solid, but Mirage moves in an autonomous way. It changes in an almost chameleon-like form."