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 2×4 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.