‘The House of Mirrors‘, aka ‘Hall of Mirrors’, is not well known, even among Kuwaitis. However, there is a remarkable quantity of work here that is open to the public and well worth exploring. It is the first home in the world to be completely covered with Mirror Mosaic by a single artist, leading to the alternative name “Mirror House.”
Khalifa and Lidia Al-Qattan are among the first Kuwaiti artists and their “House of Mirrors” is now regarded as a museum thanks to Lidia, who decorated the outside and inside of the home with shards of glass and mirrors.
It is still a private residence; thus, reservations are required for weekday visits to the Qadsiya location. About 75 metric tons of mirror and 100 metric tons of white cement were used to create the mirror mosaics that adorn the outside and inside of this home.
Visit this home covered in mirror mosaics for a very weird example of art in action. It was designed by the delightfully offbeat Italian-Kuwaiti artist Lidia Al Qattan, who enlightens visitors with tales and explanations of each area, such as the bathtub lined with mirrors and the chamber decorated with celestial themes.
Construction of the home began in 1966 and was completed in 2006; it used over 70 metric tons of mirrors in its construction.
The House of Mirrors is still a private residence, so guests must schedule a visit in advance. The owners welcome interested guests and are happy to demonstrate their property, despite the fact that it is a functioning residence. Lidia Al Qattan is a fantastic host, full of fascinating stories, and the whole experience is certain to leave you feeling out of this world.
The unique design of the Mirror Hose
The House of Mirrors is easily identifiable from the exterior in comparison to the other structures in the area. There are many mirrors in this white brick edifice, portraying anything from butterflies and stars to palm trees and calligraphy. Every room is adorned with mirrors, creating a dazzling effect that makes the building’s outside decorations look dull in comparison.
Every surface, from walls to floorboards to furniture, is covered in mirrors of varying sizes, shapes, and colors. Pieces by both artists are on display at the first-floor linked art gallery. From the Al Bassam Mirror factory in Shuwaikh, Mrs. Lidia Al Qattan acquired four simple tools: a filer, a tablespoon, and two types of knives to cut the glassware.
White cement, White glue, and water are used to attach the mirrors to the wall. After putting in some time and effort, the layout and concept begin to take form. Every piece of shattered mirror is carefully filed to remove sharp edges.
After her husband was suitably amazed and impressed by her initial efforts to adorn the cabinet with shards of shattered mirrors, Mrs. Lidia quickly moved on to the rest of the home. In the 1970s, it all started with a little cabinet, and now the whole home looks completely different from how it did before.
Different areas in Mirror House
All of the rooms have their own distinct themes, and the hallway features not one but two distinct themes: Shark Hall and the Hall of Nations. Visitors are still mesmerized by sharks and other natural wonders as sparkling light passes by. The trip ends in the bedroom/restroom/library that doubles as Universe Hall, Sea World Hall, and Knowledge Hall.
From the Sea World Hall, you may access the bedroom up front, the bathroom to the right, and the library to the left. Everything in the ‘Universe hall’ (also known as a bedroom) is cosmic-themed, from the glass works on the floor to the paintings on the walls. It also features the Big Bang, a Quran artwork, and glass pieces representing the achievement of a peaceful and loving community.
The books and materials in the library or “Knowledge hall” cover a wide range of topics. There’s a well-documented picture album of Mrs. Lidia at work and a very old book that termites have afflicted.
Then you can take the Stairs to Insight. The staircase, adorned with golden birds, leads to a ground-floor art gallery with works by Lidia and her late husband, Khalifa. The first large room is Mr. Khalifa al-Qattan’s art gallery; the second is a small room where Mrs. Lidia thoughtfully kept his personal items.
The gallery features paintings, photographs of Khalifa by other artists, photographs of Khalifa with celebrities, awards from organizations, and academic certificates. In the next room is a collection of paintings by her husband, Khalifa. Lidia’s paintings, sculptures, jewelry, lamps, and candlesticks adorn the various surfaces of the house.
A dark chamber with shimmering light, which Lidia refers to as “art therapy,” is revealed at last. A calm music plays in the background to create a soothing atmosphere. As the constellations of the zodiac gleamed in the night sky below, the artworks and light installations in this chamber give off a warm, inviting glow.
The final stop on the tour of the House of Mirrors is the galaxy’s center, a room decorated by Lidia with satellites, stars, and planets.
History of Mirror House
Lidia al-Qattan, a sculptor, jeweler, and painter who was born in Italy and is married to the famous Kuwaiti artist Khalifa al-Qattan, owns the House of Mirrors. Their young daughter, Jalila, had shattered a mirror, and according to folklore, it was bad luck to have shards of glass lying around the house.
Lidia, however, was motivated to create something beautiful out of the shards of glass, and her efforts were rewarded when Mr. Khalifa, who had just returned from a business trip, praised her work.
Mr. Khalifa has recently taken to bringing artwork with him on his trips. The pair almost gave up their craft and considered selling the house when a major termite infestation badly damaged their glasswork. Still, they were determined and enthusiastic enough to find a solution to the problem.
- What is the address of Mirror House?
- 17 شارع 94،, Kuwait.
- What are the opening hours of Mirror House?
- Saturday to Thursday from 11 AM to 11:30 AM & 3 PM to 3:30 PM.
- Closed on Fridays.