Design Project: Inside a mirrored home on an extinct volcano in Mexico

Lotte Brouwer
·3-min read
 modern house
modern house

The Property

This modern, eco-friendly house sits on the slopes of an extinct volcano in Mexico. Clad in bird-friendly mirrored panels, it blends into its natural surroundings as it reflects them back at you, disappearing into the rugged landscape.

The secluded home was designed by writer and designer Prashant Ashoka as an off-grid hideaway, a writer's retreat and as a place to offer travellers the opportunity to reconnect with nature.

modern house
modern house

Named Casa Etérea, the 807-square-foot (75-square-metre) dwelling fully immerses itself in nature, and reflects the dramatic beauty of its surroundings.

Inside, there's an open-plan living area with modern kitchen and breakfast bar, and a master bedroom divided from the bathroom via a concrete partition.

modern house
modern house

Exterior

Ashoka's intention was to leave a minimal impact on the landscape, so the foundation of the house was built entirely from volcanic rock, hand collected from the mountain.

While most of the world's mirrored houses use stainless steel sheets, they aren’t bird friendly. So Ashoka worked closely with local glass and mirror designer, Oskar Chertudi Maya, to develop an alternative. The pair decided on reflective glass sheets coated in a patterned ultraviolet layer that’s visible to birds and not to the human eye.

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modern house
modern house
modern house

The eco-friendly property draws all its power from solar energy and all its water supply from collected rainwater. Ashoka used the site's orientation, efficient ventilation design and insulated glass to create an interior that naturally regulates temperature so it doesn't need heating or cooling.

modern house
modern house
modern house
modern house
modern house
modern house

Open plan living and kitchen area

The corner-shaped property is divided into two rectangles that meet at a V-shaped intersection, framing a private patio and pool area.

Inside, the home is all poured floors, concrete walls and exposed wooden ceiling beams.

Ashoka brought on interior studio NAMUH to help choose the furnishings, celebrating natural materials like jute, leather, wood and stone.

modern house
modern house

The living area features a soft grey buffalo leather sofa, a reclaimed oak table with metal accents, and an Indian jute rug.

The uncluttered interiors help place the attention on the expansive views instead. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors frame desert views and open up to connect with the decked patio and pool area.

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modern house

Master bedroom

The bedroom also features floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, with pool views. 

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modern house

Next to the bed is a statement copper bathtub, separated from a bathroom area via a concrete partition wall.

modern house
modern house

On the other side of the concrete partition is a shower area to the left, and a loo area to the right, both surrounded by dramatic mountainside views.

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modern house
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modern house
modern house

Patio

The small patio area is shaded by olive and pomegranate trees and features a cold water plunge pool.

modern house
modern house
modern house
modern house
modern house
modern house

The holiday home aims to immerse visitors in it's surroundings. A portion of the rental income is earned directly by the community, and guests are given the opportunity to engage with the property's neighbours – for example, Ashoka’s neighbor, Concho, a seventy-year-old ranchero, takes guests on horseback safaris through the terrain.

Casa Etérea is available to experience for up to two guests and can be booked here.

Architect & Designer: Prashant Ashoka

Interiors: NAMUH

Glass & Mirror Designer: Oskar Chertudi Maya

Project design consultant: Gabriel Lopategui

Landscape Architect: Octavio Cambron Munguia

Project Manager: Mario Gonzalez

Pool & Solar Designer: Antonio Santana