This is an invisible barn. (Assuming you can see it.)

The plan places the folly within the trees of a park.

A basic wood structure is wrapped in mylar.

And so it reflects a grove of trees off its surface, blending in.

Its only giveaways are a few windows that seem to float in midair, like frames in the trees.

The structure squeezes in between the trees... make the most of the foliage.

If only the project was approved!

The Invisible Cabin is currently seeking another home.


This Barn Looks Like It's Wearing An Invisibility Cloak

The architectural folly of a barn in stealth mode, shaped like a parallelogram and wrapped in Mylar.

Wrap a barn in Mylar (formerly of space blankets and birthday balloons) and what do you get? A quasi-invisible barn.

Invisible Barn is a concept by New York design practice stpmj, created as an entrant into the The Architectural League's 2014 Folly Competition. An architectural folly is any building constructed mostly for its ornamentation. The barn was designed to complement the dense woods of Socrates Sculpture Park—to celebrate the landscape by mirroring it.

The barn itself is shaped like a parallelogram, so you can squeeze it into a dense grove of trees. Its construction is simple, just 2x4 wood studs wrapped in sheathing. Then the sheathing gets coated in a thin film of Mylar that renders the structure (mostly) invisible.

But the Invisible Barn’s best design feature isn’t its invisibility; it’s the places where the barn is just barely visible. Designers left cut-outs for open air windows, which create the illusion of floating frames within the trees.

Since stpmj didn’t win the Folly Competition, the firm tells us that the Invisible Barn is looking for another home other than Socrates Sculpture Park. Until then, we still have the mirrored cabin.

See more here.

[Hat tip: bustler]

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  • Daniel Langstaff

    I think those images are concept images (aka photoshopped). Mylar, while reflective is also very susceptible to surface distortions and warping. A mylar coating would reflect much of the light in the same patterns, but it would be very much blurred or warped. Small variations in the surface flatness of the mirror would result in a significant amount of noise added to the reflection. This noise is absent from the images, leading me to deduce that these images are indeed photoshops.

  • Luke Johnson

    Interesting, but whomever created these renderings may need to review the nature of reflections. Some of the reflected tree placement is incorrect (and yes, I'm compensating for the flattened form). Perspective rules for reflections are not being followed. Not a killer, but a presentational distraction.