The House of Mirrors or Mirror House, also known as the Khalifa & Lidia Qattan Art Museum is the residence of Artists Khalifa Qattan and his wife Lidia Qattan, both intellectual and pioneer artists in their field. The creator of the Mirror House, Lidia, is an Italian born arttist and writer who moved to Kuwait when she married her husband Khalifa. She began her project of single-handedly transforming their home into a fantastic work of art in 1972. The project was worked on intermitently until it's completion in 2006. The exterior walls of the house is covered with murals of mirror mosaic, each designe symbolizing a meaning. The interior ground floor, is completely covered in mirror mosaic from floors, to walls, to ceilings, with each room carrying a theme such as the "Planet Earth" Hall, the "Zodiac" Hall, the "Universe" Hall, the "Knowledge" Hall, "My World" Hall, "Corridor of the Nations", the "Shark Basin", "Sea World" Hall, and "Stairs to Inspiration".
The first floor is the Qattan's Art Gallery. In Khalifa Qattan's section are such themes as "The Egg" or "Evolution", "The Apple" or "Sex and it's implications on the family and society", "Women I Saw" and "The Prophesy" or "The Iraqi Invasion on Kuwait and it's aftermath". In Lidia Qattan's section are the "Art Therapy" Gallery, "Women and Society" Gallery, "Experimental" Gallery, "The Art of Recycling" Gallery and "The Galaxy Journey" Gallery. The tour ends again at the ground floor through the elevator to the Shopping Gallery where Lidia's paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and books can be purchased.
The Mirror House Project began in 1966 with a small bookshelf closet. Lidia always liked surprising her husband pioneer artist Khalifa Qattan when he went awy on trips to exhibit his artwork. In 1966, when Khalifa was in Washington D.C. having his first exhibition in the United States for the occasion of opening the Kuwaiti Embassy there, Lidia wanted to surprise him. She found a closet bookshelf he made that needed some paint, but since she couldn't find paint around the house, she decided to cover it with pieces of a broken mirror she kept after her 3 year old daughter had accidentaly broke. When Khalifa came back from his US trip, he was amazed at the lovely piece of artwork his wife Lidia made. That was the first green light Lidia had to go ahead with her second project.
In 1972 the artist decided to cover the walls and doors of her house with wooden panels covered with broken (large pieces) of mirror. The reason? She wanted to stop her little daughter Jalila from writing and drawing on the walls and doors! This way, her little daughter could write on the large pieces of broken mirrors stuck on the wooden panels, which Lidia attached to the walls and doors by drilling screws into them, and Lidia could then easly clean it up! By 1979 the 1st Phase of the Project was completed.
However, in 1981 Lidia discovered a mound of Termites in the main livingroom of the house (currently Planet Earth Hall) which ruined a lot of the mirror structure in the house. Consequentally, the project had to be re-worked, again!
This 2nd Phase of the Re-Structuring of the Mirror House took place in 1985. Before that, from 1981 to 1984, the artist Lidia, had to teach herself how to stick the mirror mosaic directly onto the wall, something she had never done before. This meant developing a certain technique of mixing certain materials together and figuering out the exact timing of when and how to clean the glass mirror before the filler potty dried and hardened up. The project was done on several time intervals, from 1985 untill 2006 after completion of building the posterior part of the house which began in 2004 and completed in 2005.
The Mirror House has been featured in many local and international television programs from China, Europe, America and the Middle East , as well as in many documentaries and reportage in various local and international magazines and newspapers since the 1970s. With the Internet technology, the Mirror House has become a very popular tourist destination for people visiting Kuwait. It has been featured in numerous websites, such as www.lonelyplanet.com and www.tripadvisor.com to name a few.