Watch Doug Aitken's mirrored Mirage Gstaad pavilion change with the seasons

Watch Doug Aitken's mirrored Mirage Gstaad pavilion change with the seasons

Mirage Gstaad, a mirrored building created by American artist Doug Aitken, reflects the shifting landscape of the Alps in this exclusive video for Dezeen.

The reflective pavilion, which has previously been installed in the desert near Palm Springs, currently sits in an Alpine meadow above Gstaad, Switzerland.

Mirage Gstaad mirrored building art installation by Doug Aitken in Switzerland in spring
Seasons changing are reflected in Mirage Gstaad

As people happen upon Mirage Gstaad they can approach it and even walk inside, where the mirrored walls frame windows and skylights.

“I saw Mirage as a human-scale lens that the viewer would enter into, and in the process, they would become the work,” said Aitken.

Mirage Gstaad mirrored building art installation by Doug Aitken in Switzerland in summer
The mirrored walls produce a kaleidoscope effect

As the seasons change around it, the mirrors that cover Mirage House create a shifting display of scenery and sky.

“I am very interested in artworks that change continuously,” continued the artist. “Artworks that change with the landscape.”

Mirage Gstaad mirrored building art installation by Doug Aitken in Switzerland in winter
Weather and light changes the way the building looks

During summer, the rooftop reflects the blue skies and the sides appear to blend in with the meadows.

From some angles, Mirage appears to be a part of nature, while from other vantage points kaleidoscopic juxtapositions occur when the underside of the eaves reflect wildflowers and grass right, next to the scudding clouds of the gables.

Mirage Gstaad mirrored building art installation by Doug Aitken in Switzerland in winter
Visitors can walk inside Mirage Gstaad

In winter, icicles hang from the pavilion and flakes of falling snow drift in through the skylights.

From sunrise to sunset, the changing light and weather are reflected in the surface of the pavilion. At night, lights from inside glow through faceted window shapes cut in the sides.

Mirage Gstaad mirrored building art installation by Doug Aitken in Switzerland at night
Lights illuminate Mirage Gstaad at night

Aitken based the design of Mirage off of the ranch-style houses built in suburban California in the 1920s and 1930s.

The artist subtly adjusts the dimensions of Mirage to suit the different locations it is taken to, creating a work that he describes as “the sum of the landscape around it.”

Mirage was originally created in 2017 for the Desert X art festival in Coachella Valley. In 2018, another version of Mirage popped up inside a former state bank in Detroit as part of an exhibition by art gallery Library Street Collective.

Mirage Gstaad mirrored building art installation by Doug Aitken in Switzerland from inside
Doorways frame views of the Alps

Gstaad Mirage is part of Elevation 1049, a two-year-long site-specific series of performances based around the mirrored pavilion run by Swiss arts organisation the Luma Foundation.

Mirrors also cover the exterior of the foundation’s Luma Arles centre in France, a twisting reflective building designed by Frank Gehry.

Photography courtesy of the Luma Foundation.

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