‘’The darkest building on Earth” designed by British architect Asif Khan, for the Hyundai Pavilion, was opened to the public during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It’s a ‘’veritable black hole with over 30-foot-tall walls coated in Vantablack, the darkest material ever made’’.
British Indian artist, Anish Kapoor, licensed Vantablack’s exclusive use in artworks. Khan, on the other hand, was working with Surrey NanoSystems in 2013 – one year before the invention of Vantablack was announced. He is the one who for the first time used Vantablack in architecture. He also created a „selfie pavilion” for the 2014 Olympics; a huge screen which was able to mimic faces of the viewers.
As Khan says: “From a distance, the structure has the appearance of a window looking into the depths of outer space. As you approach it, this impression grows to fill your entire field of view. So, on entering the building, it feels as though you are being absorbed into a cloud of blackness”.
The surface looks like a flat void (Vantablack absorbs 99,96% of light) and is covered in thousands of twinkling lights which are ‘’parabolic facades, curving inward from the corners and ceiling’’. The building looks like it was floating in the air.
The interior of the pavilion is a white space inspired by Hyundai’s new hydrogen fuel cel vehicle and is described by the artist as ‘’a water room’’. It produces 25,000 water droplets every minute. The liquid flows across the room and creates a puddle which drains every few minutes.