I have a SharePoint library where I have different folders inside with that contains confidential files. I want my colleagues to be able to see the folders but not the files inside. To reach those files, require a Manager - Approved access request. So the "dream"solution would be; whenever they arrive at my library, they will be seeing the folders (only the names of the folders) and once they opened those folders, they will reach to "Request Access" page. (At another post, I've found out that reaching to a "Request Access" page is not something SharePoint is capable of but still, it would be the dream solution).
Which permission level would let them see the folder names but not the files inside? Is there any solution scenario?
One way to do this is apply custom permissions to the folders and manually create a set of links on the home page to the folders, when they click on the link, they will access denied. Another similar way would be to have separate document libraries and do the same thing. The hard way would be to change the permission on each file in each folder, they will see the folders but not the files ( I don't recommend this approach because of the administrative effort it will entail)