It’s not every day that you see homes with mirrored exteriors but, given how awesome looks with Casa Etérea, it’s certainly a trend we’d like to see a lot more of here at Coolector HQ. Casa Etérea is a mirrored off-grid cabin which is located on the slopes of the Palo Huérfano volcano in Mexico and it has been perfectly designed by first-time architect Prashant Ashoka.
Delivering a stunning first impression, Casa Etérea is one of our favourite pieces of architecture we’ve seen in a while here at The Coolector and the fact that rainwater and solar panels are the power source for this property make it all the more impressive. It has been designed to be a self-sufficient holiday home and be in perfect harmony with its surroundings which, as you can see, is something it achieves with aplomb.
This extraordinary build is nestled into the slopes of an extinct volcano in the Los Picachos highlands, which can be found near the Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende, and it is surrounded by 10,000 hectares of rugged, unspoiled nature which gives Casa Etérea a setting of unrivalled beauty – something it really capitalises upon with its mirrored facade. The structure of the 75-square-metre cabin was crafted from locally sourced materials, in line with the architects aim to design the retreat as if it was birthed from the mountainside itself.
Its foundations are formed from volcanic rocks which were all collected on-site and its walls are made from bricks that were made locally and finished with micro-cement, before being clad in mirrors. Casa Etérea from Prashant Ashoka really does put sustainability at the front and centre of its design and the architect holds self-sustaining architecture in high reverence, especially in this time of climate crisis, and believes that off-grid homes represent our ultimate integration with the environment.
The cabin itself is formed of two rectilinear volumes that meet to form a wide V-shape, which does a great job of artistically framing an internal courtyard with a patio and a small swimming pool which has been clad in mosaic tiles. The side of the building that faces the Palo Huérfano volcano is finished off with panoramic glass doors and designed by Ashoka to act like a “theatre to nature”, while the exterior facade that faces the valley is entirely covered in a mirror finish which delivers a visual impact beyond compare.
Casa Etérea does a great job of affording privacy to the guests, which allows the structure to act like a seamless extension of the environment, and reflects the ever changing light of the different seasons of the year. The architect wanted an interplay of light and scale to deliver a real sense of awe for the wilderness and to ask questions about our role as stewards in the preservation of our ecosystems.
With the objective of leaving the surrounding wilderness as undisturbed as possible, a patterned, ultraviolet coating was applied to the mirrors, which was chosen as it marks the structure out for passing birds to prevent collisions while remaining invisible to humans. The property is solar-powered and harvests rainwater, and the orientation of the ploy itself has been picked to help naturally regulate the indoor air temperature and conserve energy. A self-sustaining masterpiece in our opinion here at Coolector HQ.