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Architects Design Mirrored Residential Building On Historic Street In Graz

Stadthaus Ballhausgasse, Broken Mirror House, Hope of Glory, HoG Architektur, Graz, Photography Paul Ott
The ability of new construction to fit within an already established architectural style can be a difficult task for any architect. While commissioned firms take cues from their surroundings, others produce entirely new styles as an attempt to showcase forward momentum. When architectural studio Hope of Glory (HoG Architektur) were commissioned for a residential structure on a historic street in Graz, their approach was two-fold, taking cues from the past but doing so in a modern interpretation.

Stadthaus Ballhausgasse, Broken Mirror House, Hope of Glory, HoG Architektur, Graz, Photography Paul Ott
photography ©Paul Ott

Their residential building sits in the UNESCO world-heritage-listed city of Graz and is surrounded by Wilhelm era structures. Stringent heritage protection guidelines dictated the street-facing façade. For this, the architects took subtle nuances of the historic buildings that surround it, but also featured a mirrored cladding material that reflects and also distorts its surroundings.

Stadthaus Ballhausgasse, Broken Mirror House, Hope of Glory, HoG Architektur, Graz, Photography Paul Ott
photography ©Paul Ott

The architects describe, “Via reflection, the façade depicts the facades opposite, which appear refracted as in a kaleidoscope due to the slightly different inclination. In this way the new building as the paradoxical effect of having both a strong presence and of not being there.”

Stadthaus Ballhausgasse, Broken Mirror House, Hope of Glory, HoG Architektur, Graz, Photography Paul Ott
photography ©Paul Ott

Interestingly, the structure has a different number of floors than its neighbors, which the architects disguised with the mirrored triangular sections, broken up into horizontal fractions. Additionally, both “protruding and recessed windows,” as Dezeen describes, were used to mask the building’s internal layout.

Stadthaus Ballhausgasse, Broken Mirror House, Hope of Glory, HoG Architektur, Graz, Photography Paul Ott
photography ©Paul Ott

The architects further describe, “The characteristic plasticity, created by a game of light and shadow on the cornices, protruding windows and surrounding frames, as well as their arrangement, is achieved by the absorption and continuation of these elements in the mirror-effect façade. In this way a 3D appearance in the form of slightly inclined triangular surfaces emerges, which will link the different cornice heights of the surrounding buildings.”

The Stadthaus Ballhausgasse, or Broken Mirror House, utilizes polished stainless steel to reflect its surroundings. The now award-winning project showcases the depth of artistry instilled in an architect’s thought process. The project blurs the lines between art installation and inhabitable space.

Photography © Paul Ott
information courtesy of Dezeen

DISCLAIMER: The following project does not feature Alucobond® aluminum composite material (ACM). The “Industry (Architecture)” section of our blog focuses on extraordinary architectural works from around the world. While this project does not feature our ACM, we have included comparable samples to what was used in the project above.

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