invisible barn by STPMJ reflects the surrounding landscape
invisible barn by STPMJ reflects the surrounding landscape invisible barn by STPMJ reflects the surrounding landscape
apr 18, 2014

invisible barn by STPMJ reflects the surrounding landscape

invisible barn by STPMJ reflects the surrounding landscape
all images courtesy of STPMJ




UPDATE: ‘the invisible barn’ is currently seeking funding on crowdfunding platform kickstarter. if the campaign is successful the structure will find a new home in UC berkeley’s sagehen creek field station in california’s central sierra nevada mountains. read more about the initiative here.


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seung teak lee and mi jung lim of new york-based practice STPMJ have designed an ‘invisible barn’, a project that was awarded a notable entry for ‘folly 2014’ – a competition led by the architectural league and socrates sculpture park. the contest invites young and emerging designers to propose contemporary interpretations of the architectural folly, traditionally seen as a small-scale building or pavilion positioned within a garden or landscape.

apertures cut within the façade enable visitors to physically interact with the folly




shaped as a skinny parallelogram eluding the densely planted trees, the site specific proposal re-contextualizes the landscape by mirroring its surroundings. the barn-shaped wooden structure, clad in reflective film, is placed in the middle of a grove, allowing the structure to assimilate naturally within its environment. the design replicates and projects the site’s different species of trees and plants, the changing color of the sky and the region’s seasonal changes. apertures cut within the façade not only enable visitors to physically interact with the folly, but also provide visual contrast and engagement from a variety of different angles. through these apertures, visitors perceive the subtle differences between the real and the mirrored landscape, understanding the depth of the grove and other art installations across the site.

stpmj invisible barn folly 2014 designboom
the design replicates and projects the site’s seasonal changes




the barn loses its architectural form to nature, encouraging visitors to interact with it through the overlap of materials and building techniques between the two disciplines. as guests people begin to move around and within the folly, users will slowly recognize a space within the grove that reflects, mirrors, and animates the landscape of the park.

view from south entry of the park at night

stpmj invisible barn folly 2014 designboom
visual indicating how the design responds to seasonal change

stpmj invisible barn folly 2014 designboom
overall site plan showing the structure in the context of the park

stpmj invisible barn folly 2014 designboom
diagram indicating the shape of the structure

stpmj invisible barn folly 2014 designboom
site plan

stpmj invisible barn folly 2014 designboom
section highlighting the skinny nature of the folly

stpmj invisible barn folly 2014 designboom
section documenting how guests can interact with the structure



project info:


status: folly 2014 design competition / notable entry
location: socrates sculpture park, queens, new york, USA
dimensions: 24′ x 3′ x 12′
budget: $5,000 USD

  • Brilliant and lovely.

    Ron Smith says:
  • Too many birds will die crashing into this piece.

    Kellen Ganty says:

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