homify 360°: The house of mirrors

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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It's hard not to be dazzled by the brilliance of the Dolomites, after all, their rugged, snowcapped appearance is a naturally occurring miracle created by Mother Nature herself. In the constantly evolving world of architecture and design, we're seeing more and more homes that are responsive and respectful to their environment. This is especially important in areas where the landscape is volatile or yet to be disturbed by urban infill. This stunning dwelling, which is actually a set of luxury holiday apartments, is located just outside of Bolzano in the north of Italy. In design circles, this building by Peter Pichler Architecture is causing quite a stir. Not for negatives reasons, no, but because its seamless integration into the picturesque surrounds that encase it are nothing short of incredible.

The land is owned by Angela Sabine Staffler, who lives on site in a restructured farmhouse from the 1960s. The brief was to offer guests a truly memorable holiday experience; staying not only in one of the most stunning examples of contemporary architecture in the world, but to also feel at one with the wild nature of the South Tyrolean Dolomites. What a unique and breathtaking way to spend your next alpine or next summer holiday. Ready to book?

Photography by: Oskar Da Riz & Nicolò Degiorgis

Reflections

It comes as no surprise that this project has been titled ’The house of mirrors’. The glass is laminated with a UV coating, which not only causes the stunning reflection of the landscape, but also helps to eliminate the chance of birds colliding with what would otherwise be a translucent surface. The image above is nothing short of enchanting; the building quite literally disappears into the scenery. Despite its highly contemporary exterior, you really feel at one with nature.

A beacon in the valley

Guests are able to have their own self-catering apartment, which can house anywhere between 2-4 people. Those staying in a unit are offered full privacy, and are not required to interact with the owners, nor with the occupants of the property next door. You can live in total seclusion, amongst the incredible landscape, enjoying the treasures of the area at your own pace.

A dialogue with nature

Oriented to the east, the new structure has a private garden and independent on-site parking for those that arrive by car. The house comprises of an open plan living and kitchen area, bathroom, double bedroom and a small cellar which can house personal items and ski equipment. Despite the house being made almost entirely of glass, large skylights on the roof help to further illuminate and ventilate the interior spaces.

Let the light in

In this photo, we see a close up of the large skylights. Increasing the internal light and ventilation capacity, these units are constructed in an asymmetrical manner to create visual fluency. Their highly reflective surface ensures the same aesthetic and practical benefits as mentioned above. 

Inside, outside

Our first view of the inside is the open plan living, dining and kitchen area. Given the highly modern exterior, it is only fitting that we should find equally as stunning contemporary furnishings inside. The colour palette is muted for obvious reasons—the scenery is the only decoration or art work needed. The brown wall to the right of the image is the partition between the living space and bedroom, and can be presumably closed off to ensure privacy when required. You may not feel inclined (ever) to shut out the view, but if you prefer to sleep in total darkness or want to have intimate moments with your family or partner, you can pull across a set of blinds to be in absolute seclusion. 

Suite dreams

From this angle, you can quite literally see the dialogue provided by the interior layout. Divided only by small partitions, privacy and openness can be felt at the same time. Despite the fact these spaces are in close proximity to one another, the ingenious design separates the rooms both functionally and visually. So, it is possible to wake up, cook and relax to the stunning view of the Dolomites from every single angle.

White on white

As evidenced in the other spaces, a strict colour palette of white and pale timber has been used throughout. This increasingly popular colour scheme has taken the world by storm. Inspired by Scandinavian minimalism, the appeal of white-on-white inside our homes has only grown in momentum as the years go on. Given that this space is quite small, it is only fitting that a palette which facilitates openness and spaciousness was employed.

Thirsty for more bold examples of architecture? Check out the following ideabooks:

homify 360º: A timber home by the sea

homify 360°: Renovation of a house in the snow

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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