Mirror, Mirror … in South Tyrol

It’s just the right time for a little time out. Where to go? Towards the mountains – with a beautiful climate – and culinary sophisticated. After a few considerations, South Tyrol is determined as the perfect destination. But can you find modern inspiring architecture there besides the classic hotels and vacation apartments? The answer is yes, the Mirror Houses.

Amidst apple orchards, these luxurious vacation homes are located outside of Bolzano. The owners themselves also live in a renovated farmhouse on the property, surrounded by the spectacular mountain scenery of the Dolomites. Their idea: they wanted to build two vacation units around 2014 to offer guests – 2 to 4 people each – a small autonomous apartment. The challenge: maximum privacy – for both guests and hosts.

And in general, the houses should be something special – an attraction. To implement this, they hired the young South Tyrolean architect Peter Pichler, who had founded “Peter Pichler Architecture” in Milan in 2015 and was in the process of making a name for himself. A perfect cast, as was to become apparent.

Happiness lies behind the mirror – and in front of it

Peter Pichler, who during his studies had already worked for highly ambitious clients in renowned architectural firms such as Zaha Hadid Architects in London and OMA / Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam, had a precise idea of what his discerning clients might like. He outlined his idea behind the Mirror Houses: both cottages, along with their private gardens, face east. Each unit has a living room with open kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. The residential units are slightly shifted in height and length, which loosens the structure and emphasizes individuality.

Because the houses stand on a pedestal, they seem to float above the ground and offer an impressive view of the magnificent landscape around them from their free-standing terraces. The volume opens to the east with a large glass façade that arcs into the black aluminum shell. “The mirrored glass on the west façade of the two units borders the client’s backyard and captures the surrounding panorama with the pool, while the units themselves blend with the surroundings.”

The architect Peter Pichler

… was nominated by the Italian National Chamber of Architects as a Young Italian Talent and was a finalist for the Gold Medal for Architecture at the Triennale di Milano and the Dezeen Awards for Emerging Architect of the Year. He also represents his home region of South Tyrol in Italy in the new global campaign South Tyrol. The campaign can be seen not only in the Italian media, but also on ARD, ZDF, Sat1 and Pro7 until the end of November 2021, as well as in the print media DER SPIEGEL and DIE ZEIT.