“Mirage Gstaad pulls the landscape in and reflects it back out, this classic one-story suburban house becomes a framing device, a perceptual echo-chamber endlessly bouncing between the dream of nature as pure uninhabited state and the pursuit of its conquest” (Elevation1049, 2019).
The Mirage Gstaad is a house and an art installation by Doug Aitken. The house was installed in the Swiss Alps, in Videmanette, Gstaad in February 2019 and will be experienceable until February 2021. However, the house is not only worth a one-time visit, as it changes along with the seasons and the weather. Thus, creating a new experience for the visitor on any day of the year.
The house has a simple and resistant structure inspired by the modernistic Californian Ranch Houses from early 1900, introduced by famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Though the house is inspired by American architecture, it can be viewed as similar to a classical Swiss Alpine cabin.
Mirage Gstaad purposefully disappears into the landscape by reflecting its surroundings. Thin black horizontal lines cover the mirrored surface for every 3 centimeters to make the house visible to animals, such as birds that otherwise would have difficulty seeing it.
Its mirrored inside reflects both the houses’ inside and outside and creates a kaleidoscopic view that is ever-changeable for every step the visitor takes through the house.
Previously, in 2017 and 2018, the house was installed respectively in the Californian desert outside of Palm Springs and inside a bank in Detroit. Read more about the previous installations here (Palm Springs, 2017) and here (Detroit, 2017)