Cabins are designed for those who like rural seclusion – but what if you could immerse yourself in nature without even being seen? These disappearing houses pull out all the stops to blend into their surroundings – the architectural equivalent of an invisibility cloak.
Here are some of our favourite mirrored cabins for sale and rent across the globe where you can watch the world go by in total privacy.
Located on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico’s central highlands, Casa Etérea sits at the foot of an extinct volcano that’s been reclaimed by the jungle. Prashant Ashoka designed the two-person cabin as an off-grid hideaway that treads lightly on the earth. Its mirrored exterior has an ultraviolet coating to deter birds from flying into the glass walls while allowing inhabitants to gaze out into nature.
Casa Etérea harvests its own rainwater and is powered entirely by solar energy. And while surrounded by nature, its interiors are the antithesis of rustic with concrete floors, raftered ceilings and a soothing neutral palette. It’s available from £358 per night, for a minimum three-night stay.
Mountain and Cloud Cabins
Over in China’s Yubei Province, 2020 saw the opening of the Mountain and Cloud Cabins hotel in Yichang, designed by Wiki World and +Advanced Architecture Lab. The mountain complex is a cluster of 18 individual mirrored cabins that disappear into the foggy landscape and immerse visitors in the misty views.
Most of the cabins on this list are simple rectangular volumes but there are several types of room to rent at M&CC – some with large windows that frame views, and others, UFO silhouettes. All have timber-lined interiors.
ÖÖD tiny home
This shiny, prefab tiny home is clad in mirrored glass to hide it from prying eyes. ÖÖD House is the brainchild of brothers Andreas and Jaak Tiik and measures just 18 sqm. The disappearing house is made from steel, insulated glass and timber with Scandinavian style wood-panelled interiors.
It costs from $65,000 and can be used as a residential dwelling, office, yoga studio or playroom, and takes just eight hours to build on site. Last autumn, ÖÖD’s founders announced they were in talks with Amazon to start selling the brand’s office pods on the e-commerce platform as a WFH solution during the pandemic. Read more.
The Mirrorcube treehouse
It’d be easy to miss this invisible hotel room, which hides among the trees in Swedish Lapland, 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The 16 sqm Mirrorcube treehouse was designed by practice Tham & Videgard for Treehotel founders Kent and Britta Lindvall, and it perches on an aluminium base high above the ground.
Its sleek mirrored facade contrasts its birch plywood interiors, while six oversized windows frame panoramic views of the forest. It sleeps two and is available to book from 4400 SEK per night.
Designed as an affordable and portable off-grid ‘green’ dwelling, Disappear Retreat by Minnesota practice Coulson Architects is a lightweight 83 sqm tiny home with a zero energy, zero waste and zero water footprint. It’s clad in reflective glass and weathered wood, and its shed roof collects rainwater while photovoltaic panels generate energy.
Disappear Retreat is currently available for pre-order directly from the architect, with prices between $25,000 to $35,000. The Bed+Bath prefab version comes with a built-in sofa/bed with storage, toilet, sink, shower and refrigerator. Sauna and Basic models are also available – the Basic is pitched as a studio space for artists or creatives.
Sacromonte Landscape Hotel
The boutique Sacromonte Landscape Hotel and winery is set on a 250-acre stretch of sierra between Punta del Este, José Ignacio and Pueblo Garzón in Uruguay’s Maldonado department. Some 13 steel-framed cabins, conceived by MAPA Architects, are strewn across the vineyards where they sit atop stone bases that double as terraces. Smoked-glass facades reflect the grassland, while stacked logs camouflage the structure at the back.
Cabins at the Sacromonte Landscape Hotel start from $700 per night and guests can indulge in wine tasting activities as dine at the farm-to-table restaurant.