The darkest building on Earth has been unveiled Sunday at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Dubbed the Hyundai Pavilion, the structure is coated with a revolutionary, super-black material that absorbs 99% of light, said its creator British architect Asif Khan.
A building described as the “darkest on Earth” has been unveiled at the
Khan, in an article on CNN described his work as a “schism in space,” and has four curved walls, each of which is studded floor to ceiling with thousands of tiny lights, as stars would do in the night sky.
“It will be like you’re looking into the depths of space itself,” said Khan, ahead of the Winter Olympic Games.
“As you approach the building that star field will grow to fill your entire field of view, and then you’ll enter as though you’re being absorbed into a cloud of blackness.”
The structure’s exterior is coated with a substance called Vantablack VBx2, a derivative of nanomaterial Vantablack. It is considered as the darkest, man-made material on earth, and is so black that the human eye can’t quite make out what it is seeing.
Part of the appeal of the original Vantablack is that it absorbs 99.96% of the light that hits its surface.
“When you have no light reflected back to the viewer, you see nothing, so your brain paints it as black,” Ben Jensen, co-founder of Surrey NanoSystems told CNN.
The material was developed three years ago by Surrey NanoSystems, and the British firm has since been flooded with requests from designers, architects and aerospace engineers — and even people with a bit of cash to burn who want to wrap themselves in it or eat it.
Vantablack isn’t really a color, it is in fact almost the complete absence of it; and it is said to be the closest we will get to being near a black hole.
When used as a coating, Vantablack looks as if it is changing the dimensions of an object, and it is this absence of color, light and depth that first drew Khan to Vantablack.
“To break the fundamental rules of perception, as this material does, turns 3D things into 2D things, it absorbs light instead of reflecting light, it’s as powerful as switching off gravity. That’s the possibility of it in architecture,” said Khan.