Mirror architecture: 10 impressive projects


Disguised private houses, spectacular museums, mesmerizing art pavilions that merge with the surrounding nature and urban landscape – we talk about the most interesting projects in modern mirror architecture

In 1958, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's skyscraper was built in New York City with glazed facades. The building influenced the appearance of modern cities and served as the prototype for a number of similar later projects. Mirrored surfaces prompted architects to look for new solutions – glass and polished metal descended from the tops of skyscrapers to cultural centers and museums, private houses and residences, art pavilions and galleries. The light translucent structures, freed from their former heaviness, helped the authors really relax and have plenty of fun, masking buildings in the bosom of nature or playing with endless reflections.

Mirror Houses, Italy

In northern Italy, in Bolzano, architect Peter Pichler has designed a pair of Mirror Houses for outdoor recreation. The mirrored east façade reflects the scenic landscape and blends seamlessly into a curved black aluminum body. Interestingly, the glass surfaces are laminated with a special coating to prevent birds from colliding with the building: the winged creatures can easily distinguish the contours. The residence is divided into two parts, each of which can accommodate up to four guests. The blocks are slightly displaced relative to each other: despite the close proximity, private zones are created in this way.

Lillehammer Art Museum, Snøhetta, Norway

The huge metal cube of the Lillehammer Art Museum by Snøhetta has become the new symbol of the city. The architects of the bureau have already worked on the museum expansion project twice in 1994 and 2016. A mirrored cube with a dynamic surface has become part of the Wiedemannsalen gallery, on the first level of which there is a children's workshop, and the second floor is dedicated to the work of the artist Jakob Weidemann. The silvery block resembles a shooting star, symbolizing the author's contribution to the development of painting in Norway.

Invisible School, Spain

This school in Salamanca became “invisible” thanks to an original project by ABLM Arquitectos. Composite aluminum panels correspond to the industrial aesthetics of the city, which in recent years has become one of the largest manufacturing centers in Spain. The interior is decorated with frosted glass.

Tunnel in Oxford, Zaha Hadid Architects UK

A pedestrian bridge or tunnel designed by Zaha Hadid Architects connects the buildings of two Oxford campuses: the center of European disciplines and the center of the Middle East. Adjacent Victorian structures are endlessly reflected in the polished steel facades. Internal space of 1200 sq. meters includes research facilities, a lecture hall, cafes, reading rooms, etc.

Pavilion M +, Hong Kong

The two-level exhibition pavilion M + in Hong Kong by VPANG and JET Architecture Inc. The building is located on an artificial hill, the facade is decorated with mirrored panels. In the future, the building will become part of the M + cultural complex designed by Herzog & amp; de Meuron.

Jung Gil-Young Gallery, South Korea

The Jung Gil-Young Gallery building in South Korea becomes almost transparent against the surrounding forests. When visitors walk along the building, the surfaces reflect a slightly different landscape each time, and therefore it seems that the building is moving or nature is advancing. The interiors of the gallery and the staircase are decorated with vibrant colors that create a dramatic contrast.

Len Lye Center, New Zealand

Len Lye Center in New Plymouth is dedicated to exclusively to the work of the New Zealand experimenter in the field of video art and kinetic sculpture Len Lye. The architects of the cultural complex from Pattersons Associates tried to convey the quintessence of the artist's creative method in the appearance of the building. The mirrored wavy facade resembles an art installation.

Vieux Port Pavilion, Foster + Partners, France

The Vieux Port pavilion by Foster + Partners was created as part of the reconstruction of the old port of Marseille, which is one of the city's main attractions. The mirror vault reflects the water surface and the walking passers-by. Here you can hide from the summer heat and rain, and the place is also suitable for fairs and cultural events. The stainless steel canopy is supported by eight lightweight supports – the boundaries of the pavilion are rather arbitrary, due to which the structure fits harmoniously into the surrounding historical buildings.

Botanic Gardens Visitor Center, Australia

Australian architect Charles Wright has created a Botanical Gardens Visitor Center in Crans. Due to the mirrored facade, the building completely dissolves into the adjacent rainforest. The structure is not only a disguised entrance, but also a cultural hub where visitors can take a break from the haunting Australian heat. There are also cafes, information desks, offices and exhibition facilities.

The Terrains, Tatiana Bilbao, Mexico

Los Terrenos (The Terrains) designed by architect Tatiana Bilbao. The residence consists of two blocks topped with an asymmetrical roof. The facades are clad in mirrored glass, which allows the building to fully merge with nature.

Check out our gallery for even more impressive projects from world architects around the world.

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