But the Glass Barn is very real and we have design firm MVRDV to thank for making it look so fantastically unreal. The secret to the surreal look is that while the building exterior is made of glass, the surface has been printed with pictures that make it look like a traditional barn -only much larger.
Artist Frank van der Salm photographed a number of historic buildings in the area to work with MVRDV to develop a sort of building collage of a typical farm. This image was blown up to fit the massive market that the firm was hired to construct. The structure is drastically larger than most barns; the printed doors appear to be about 13 feet tall, which helps makes adults of the area feel nostalgic as they remember their childhood trips to local farms with buildings that seemed larger-than-life at the time.
At night, the building is illuminated from the inside, serving as a monument to the area's traditional farmhouses.
The building sits in the center of the Schijndel Market Square, which was severely damaged in WWII. Over the years, a number of buildings have been added and refurbished, but this newest attraction was only completed this year after the proposal was approved in 2000.