Invisible Reflective Retreat

WORDS Elizabeth Hunter PHOTOS via

This sustainable off-grid retreat is covered in mirrored panels that allow it to look almost invisible in its gorgeous surroundings.

Situated on the slopes of the extinct volcano Palo Huérfano, Mexico, Casa Etérea was designed to let guests marvel at the natural landscape.

Designed by owner Prashant Ashoka, this home is a sustainability marvel. Striped UV-reflective lighting was used in the glass exterior to ensure that birds don’t fly into the building, and the house was built entirely from local rock, to ensure minimum disruption to the environment. The stunning reflective glass is mirrored on the outside to allow the house to seamlessly blend into the natural landscape.

The cosy retreat sleeps two adults, consisting of one room with a double bed, a copper bathtub and glass shower, and fully stocked kitchen.

Of course, the main attraction in this home is the stunning location – a patio and solar-heated pool are surrounded by the natural environment, allowing guests to relax and take it all in. The retreat is only a 20-minute drive from the UNESCO World Heritage city of San Miguel de Allende, a stunning city with a thriving art scene and historic churches.

Cool Spaces: Casa Etérea Designed by Prashant Ashoka
The home was designed to have the least possible impact on the environment.

“Glittering mirrored panels melt the house into the landscape, while sustainable elements, including solar panels and collected rainwater, mean you can live in perfect harmony with the breath-taking natural environment,” the listing on Host Unusual reads. “Described by the New York Times as ‘an architectural showpiece,’ the entire house consists of one beautiful and intimate room.

“Framed by floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, outside awaits a decked patio space, along with a solar-heated dipping pool surrounded by sweet-scented olive and pomegranate trees, and that magnificent volcanic vista.

“In case you were wondering about the quality of sleep you could expect in a glass-fronted retreat, remote-controlled PVC shutters provide plenty of security and privacy when it’s finally time to turn in. And of course, you can look forward to opening them up again in the morning, to be greeted by the sun rising over that incredible, unspoilt landscape.”

Looking for more architectural inspiration? Check out this small urban cabin in Italy.