Photography is by Oskar Da Riz. “Guests have their small autonomous apartment and can fully enjoy the experience of living in the middle of nature,” added the architect. To deter birds from mistaking the reflections for open space and accidentally flying into the surfaces, the mirror-wall is coated with a specially designed film that reduces UV light and glare. Mirrors create a reflective facade on this pair of holiday homes in the South Tyrolean Dolomites, but have been coated with a glare-reducing film to help prevent bird collisions (+ slideshow). Designed by Italian architect Peter Pichler, the Mirror Houses are two adjoining guesthouses for short-term rent on a farm outside the city of Bolzano, north-east Italy. Combined living and dining spaces are positioned directly behind the glass. “From certain views of the client’s garden the old existing farmhouse is mirrored in the new contemporary architecture and is literally blending into it rather then competing against.”
The two blocks are slightly staggered in height and alignment to visually separate them. Related story: Visitor centre “harmoniously inserted” into a Canadian forest by Smith Vigeant Architects
Pichler chose to clad the west facades of the two blocks with mirrors so that they reflect the surrounding mountains. It also makes them less visible from the client’s residence – a neighbouring 1960s farmhouse. Both feature floor-to-ceiling glazing on their eastern facades so that guests can take in panoramic views of the sunrise. A bedroom and bathroom sit behind the living room of each unit, illuminated by skylights, and temporary storage areas are provided by small basements.