Meet the darkest building on Earth

Since the Winter Olympics opened in South Korea, one of the main attractions is a 30-foot-tall construction that resembles a black hole- a building so dark it appears as though you could disappear into it.

Hyundai Pavillon, all images courtesy of Luke Hayes

Unveiled at the Olympic Park in Pyeongchang, British architect Asif Khan has designed what has been described as ‘the blackest building on earth’ - a geometric pavilion commissioned by Hyundai, which get its perception-bending aesthetic from being covered in Vantablack Vbx2 paint.


The pavilion represents the universe- the origin of hydrogen and is inspired by Hyundai’s new Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle- a car designed to enhance people’s lives through ease of mobility. 

While the outside appears like a black void covered in stars, the inside is the opposite- a bright white space featuring a ‘water room’ where 25,000 water droplets flow through the space.

Initially invented for defence purposes, Vantablack Vbx2 absorbs 99% of light photons which bounce upon it. Although Vantablack Vbx2 was sprayed upon the surface of Khan’s pavilion, unlike usual spray paint, the product doesn’t come in a can, and instead, is applied by specialist contractors, who have developed a unique technique for its application onto buildings.

Not only is Vantablack Vbx2 a glimmer into the future for developing microstructures with advanced perceptual qualities, Khan has paved the way for architects to construct buildings which blur the line between illusion and reality. 

To view more of Khan's work, click here

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