Inspired by the concept of “emotional architecture,” a term coined by Mexican architect Luis Barragán and sculptor-painter Mathias Goéritz to describe buildings that encourage meditation and quietude, Casa Etérea provides above all a profound sensory experience that’s both humbling and awe-inspiring in its transitional quality. Depending on the time of day, weather, and line of observation, the mirrored exterior reflects the rugged volcano’s slopes and mesquite trees, “catches fire” as the sun rises in the morning, softly gleams in ombre hues at dusk, to disappear into the star-filled blackness of the desert sky come night time.
The one-bedroom dwelling consists of two cubic volumes forming a V-shaped floorplan, its angular geometry echoing the ravine visible through the exposed glass shower. Featuring an open-plan configuration, the interiors are blessed with panoramic views of towering cliffs, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that connect the bedroom and living room with a decked patio where guests can lounge by the pool area under the shade of olive and pomegranate trees.
The project was created by Mexico-based Singaporean writer and designer Prashant Ashoka whose aim was to build a “theatre to nature” where guests could fully experience the mountain. Inside the house, floor-to-ceiling windows blur the line between interior and exterior, while outside, the mirrored volume blurs the distinction between natural and man-made, distorting the landscape in ever-shifting, mirage-like reflections.