Sometimes the most unobtrusive structures are the ones you can't see at all. Conceived for the Socrates Sculpture Park's annual Folly Competition, "Invisible Barn" is a stealthy building with reflective walls that allow it to blend seamlessly into its surroundings. The incognito barn designed by Brooklyn-based STPMJ took home a Notable Entry nod in the competition for its unique design.
The Invisible Barn is a vision for a site-specific wooden structure completely enveloped in reflective film to mirror the trees of Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park. The building would be assimilated into nature so well that, from a certain distance, it appears to be almost invisible. Its only non-reflective parts would be small openings that allow visitors to enter the building and perceive the optical illusion from up close.
The barn would be shaped as a parallelogram in order to fit in between the dense trees and would be comprised of 2×4′ wood studs and sheeting, covered with a mylar mirror film. Although the base could be constructed on-site, the prefab walls, floors and plywood opening frames could be fabricated in advance and then assembled and placed onto the frame at the park.
The structure is both a building and a site-specific sculpture and enters a dialogue with the concepts of physical impact on nature and spatial experimentation. The barn uses materiality to create an interactive and fun environment for people to explore the boundaries and intersections between architecture, art and science.