Mirage Gstaad

Mirage Gstaad is a sophisticated outdoor sculpture in the shape of a log cabin by Doug Aitken on display in Switzerland. It reflects and interacts with the local landscape and the changing seasons. NUSSLI implemented this sculpture according to the artist’s specifications and it took NUSSLI engineers several weeks to develop it to meet all design requirements.

Mirage Gstaad is surrounded by mountains and remains in place throughout the winter requiring it to have a roof that can withstand massive snow loads. The entire facade is completely mirrored without the mounting system being visible. The NUSSLI team tested various mounting options and materials to ensure that the facade’s panels would not warp in high summer nor low winter temperatures and also that it would always have a uniformly flat reflective surface.

A timber substructure was erected on a temporary screw foundation which was then mirrored with composite panels using a special suspension system. All walls have a reflective surface on the inside and outside including the ceiling but not the floor. Mirage Gstaad measures 180 square meters and is located along a hiking trail at an altitude of 1100 meters. This location made it more challenging to transport building materials.

Working together with Vogelwarte Sempach (Swiss Bird Protection Society), vertical black lines were installed on the facade to counter the distraction from the reflective surfaces for migrating and breeding birds and to make the building more visible. The structure was also verified via 3D model for no interference with sunlight reflection during the year for neighbours as well as air traffic.