Mirror-Covered House In Alps Slammed As ‘Huge Trap’ For Birds Flying Nearby

by : Julia Banim on : 20 Apr 2021 18:16
Mirrored Covered House In Alps Slammed As 'Huge Trap' For Birds Flying Nearbyearthwonders12/Facebook

A house covered in mirrors in the Swiss Alps has been slammed as a ‘huge trap’ for birds flying around within the vicinity.

Mirage Gstaad, designed by American artist Doug Aitken, is intended to reflect the ever shifting seasons of the beautiful Alpine landscape and, although it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly makes for a striking structure.


Situated in a picturesque Alpine meadow above Gstaad, Switzerland, the futuristic pavilion mirrors the surrounding scenery all year long, capturing green summer grass, fluffy spring clouds and winter snowfall alike.

However, bird lovers have been left less than impressed by this shiny spectacle, with many expressing concern that birds could unwittingly fly into the reflective walls.

One person commented:


Dear A**hole architect/designer and owner, if you want a home to blend in build it with stones and a sod roof. It would be a lot nicer for the poor birds – this is one huge god damn trap for anything that flies near it. If I was rich I would buy it just to tear it down.

Another said:

How much do the mirror panels cost? I am asking because the replacement procedure, for every poor bird that is going to crash on a panel, is going to cost a lot.


Speaking with Dezeen about his design in September, Aitken said: ‘I saw Mirage as a human-scale lens that the viewer would enter into, and in the process, they would become the work.’

Aitken also stated that measures had been implemented to make sure the building was visible to birds:

In building Mirage Gstaad installation teams worked with Vogelwarte Sempach (Swiss Bird Protection Society) and added horizontal black lines installed every three centimetres on the facade to counter the distraction from the reflective surfaces for migrating and breeding birds, and to make the building visible to them.

However, not everyone is convinced these measures would be enough to protect local birds, with one reader commenting:


I’m finding it hard to believe that birds don’t hit it. They hit my windows, not as reflective as mirror, even with decals and framework subdividing the window.

Mirage Gstaad is reportedly part of Elevation 1049, a two-year performance series organised by the Luma Foundation, a Switzerland-based arts organisation.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Viral, Birds


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