An Invisible Barn

If you want to hide a building that is in disarray, there is a simple way to do this: cover the building with mylar – a strong polyester film that has thermal resistance and insulation properties, but also works as a mirror.

It was with this material that the New York architecture stpmj stonecutted a barn making it invisible as part of a project for the Architectural League’s Folly Competition. The competition’s requirements included the construction of bizarre 21st century architectural spaces that can be installed at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York.

Such architectural novelties may be irritatingly obvious, but the stpmj’s invisible barn is designed to disappear at once. The simple, two-by-four model is coated in mylar – material that can be found in the balloons and emergency blankets, which look like they came directly from space. This material acts as a reflector and the surface reflects the surrounding space, forgetting the barn.

Some strategically positioned cutouts help amplify the created optical illusion and give rise to floating windows that peer into the surrounding landscape. It is a simple optical illusion, especially when one realizes that it is possible to cross the doors.

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