Located in the slopes of Mexico's Los Picachos highlands is Casa Etérea, a serene off-grid home that combines aesthetics with sustainable design. The mirrored façade of the building allows it to disappear into the terrain, creating the impression that the structure was “birthed from the mountain itself.”
Interestingly, the creator of this work is not a licensed architect and nor are his six collaborators. Prashant Ashoka, a writer and designer who moved to Mexico from Singapore, designed and built the project with no previous architecture experience. Ashoka says he was inspired by renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán who is famous for his “emotional architecture.” One clear connection between the two designers is a deep reverence for site context and nature.
Ashoka used Casa Etérea to explore sustainable ways of building and living. Specifically, he was interested in off-grid homes. “I hold self-sustaining architecture in high reverence, especially in our time of climate crisis, and believe that off-grid homes represent our ultimate integration with the environment,” says Ashoka. His own off-grid project works off of solar panels and rainwater collection.
The building was also made of construction materials mostly collected on site. Rocks from the extinct Palo Heurfano volcano make up the structural foundation and locally-made bricks were used for the walls. Aside from the areas with open glass, the exterior is covered in mirrors to reflect the landscape. NAMUH worked on the interior of the home, designing the palette of warm stone, wood, and textiles found throughout. One notable contribution is the unique copper bathtub found in the bedroom area.
If you love Casa Etérea and want to experience the intimate connection with the site yourself, check out the project’s website for information on booking. Or, keep scrolling for our favorite images of the mirror-clad nature retreat.