Mirrored glass is a stunning material choice that answers many of today’s recurring architectural demands. From creating an “invisible” façade that blends seamlessly with the natural landscape to making one with that exhilarating kick of visual pizzazz, mirrored glass easily satisfies opposing demands with impeccable grace. All the while, it can simultaneously keep unwanted gazes out and let streams of light flood in.
Imagined to inspire your next project, the following collection displays seven brilliant ways of using mirrored glass.
Glass Curtain Wall by UXAMA
For this project, Otxotorena Arquitectos inventively rehabilitated an early twentieth century single-family palace in San Sebastián, Spain. Located on a privileged site with magnificent views, the architects used a striking glass curtain wall to reflect and emphasize the landscape’s dominant presence. From one vantage point, the building is defined by historic moldings and adornments, while from another, the building takes on a starkly contemporary reflective identity.
Mirrored Glass by ECKELT GLAS
Mirror Houses were born out of the client’s wish to create autonomous luxury holiday units that he could rent out to occasional visitors. The west façade is covered in mirrored glass by ECKELT GLAS, an Austrian expert glass processor under the Saint-Gobain group. The reflective surface catches the surrounding panorama, making the unit almost invisible, thus blending into the landscape rather than competing against it. The architects chose a product laminated UV coating to prevent birds from colliding with the structure.
Located on a nature reserve in Jeju-si, platform_a’s goal was to highlight the surrounding landscape through their architecture. The box-like structure was created using a locally-sourced basalt wall, concrete and glass, each carefully chosen in order to represent existing elements of the site. Mirrored glass and a black stainless-steel frame on the western and southern faces of the building allow for dramatic opening and closing and the feeling of transparency, while creating a sense of privacy for those inside.
City and Nature Master Garden was designed for Xi’an’s 2011 International Horticulture Exhibition under the theme, “the harmonious co-existence of nature and the city.” Derived partly from vernacular Chinese architecture, the garden installation is composed of four elements: traditional gray brick walls, weeping willows, mirrors and bronze bells. The mirrors, which heighten the illusion that one is stuck in a maze, create an encapsulating experience of fun, discovery and perhaps sometimes anxiety.
Glass by AGC
Johan Selbing Architecture’s Mirror House is a private villa with a façade consisting entirely of reflective glass. From the outside, the design achieves complete privacy, while from the inside residents may enjoy streaming sunlight and wide open views. On the interior, all walls are covered with birch multiplex panels, which creates a warm monochrome feel that exists in stark contrast to the strict glass façade.
Chengdu Zhongshuge, a massive bookstore in Chengdu, China, is defined by dramatic cascading walls that are endlessly reflected in the space’s mirrored ceiling. Inspired by natural local shapes including bamboo, mushrooms and terraced fields, this vibrant design was imagined to embody Chengdu’s unique cultural atmosphere and all its elements of elegance and leisure. The mirrored ceiling enlarges the space with a sense of expansiveness, only possible through the use of reflective surfaces.
Mirrored Glass by LamGlass
For this adaptive re-use project, the CEO of Vakko approached REX to create a new headquarters by reinterpreting an unfinished, abandoned hotel. Embracing the project’s challenges and constraints, REX transformed a clumsy, over-designed structure into a beautiful and refined architectural image. The base of the structure features an exceptionally transparent thin glass façade while the crown is clad in mirror-glass. The reflective surfaces cloak the steel boxes with a mirage-like exterior, and enliven the building’s interior to a kaleidoscopic effect.