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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The bedroom also features floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, with pool views.
Next to the bed is a statement copper bathtub, separated from a bathroom area via a concrete partition wall.
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.
The small patio area is shaded by olive and pomegranate trees and features a cold water plunge pool.
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
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