The ‘Darkest Building in the World’ Opens at the Winter Olympics
The Winter Olympics gets underway in PyeongChang, South Korea today. And while the sport is naturally the main attraction, we always take a keen interest in the architecture that big sporting events throw up. And in PyeongChang, the most interesting new build is undoubtedly Asif Khan’s Vantablack Pavilion, described as the ‘darkest building on earth.’
We first came across Vantablack a couple of years ago when Lynx used the blackest material known to man on one of their spray cans, but this is the first time that it’s been used on a building. British architect Asif Khan has spray-painted the 10-metre-high temporary curved structure with Vantablack VBx2.
Vantablack itself is a substance that is said to absorb over 99% of light, making it almost impossible for the human eye to perceive. To complete the effect of looking like you’re staring into a black hole in space, Khan has installed tiny white lights on all four sides of the pavilion.
The building was actually commissioned by Hyundai Motors as part of their global art initiative. Visitors to the 35m x 35m pavilion will be able to enter through a dark corridor that opens into a white-washed space, which features a multi-sensory hydrophobic water installation in the middle of the room – also designed by Khan.
The installation involves visitors interacting with sensors which cause 25,000 water droplets a minute to flow along the channels, colliding and splitting before pooling into a lake. The idea is that the water activity aligns with Hyundai’s latest technology: a Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle.
All photography by Luke Hayes.
Also check out the Most Dangerous Events at the Winter Olympics.