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This stainless steel building reflects the historic architecture around it—literally

It’s clad in a high-gloss polished stainless steel

Exterior shot of steel-clad building reflecting facades of the buildings next to it.
The sloping roof line matches that of the neighboring buildings.
Photos by Paul Ott via Dezeen

How do you design a building that reflects the historical architecture of the surrounding structures? Austrian studio Hope of Glory had a literal solution to this question: With the use of a mirrored surface, of course.

The studio was commissioned to create a residential building on a street in the UNESCO world heritage listed historic city center of Graz, Austria, where the site was the only vacant spot amid a row of contiguous houses from the Whilhelm era. Because it had to meet very stringent historic protection guidelines, the architects designed a simple facade of mirror-finished, high-gloss polished stainless steel that appears to simultaneously "dematerialize" and echo the mid-19th century aesthetic of its neighbors.

The eight-story apartment, called Stadthaus Ballhausgasse, or Broken Mirror House, comprises 17 units over 24,800-square-feet of floor space and features street-facing windows that do not necessarily line up with the floors. Moreover, the asymmetrical slope of the front of the roof lines up with the roofline of the buildings on either side, furthering the illusion that this new building is merely slotted in. Completed in 2013, the building was a finalist in this year’s Architizer’s A+ Awards. Head to Dezeen for the full story.