Architecture

The super-black building that absorbs light: Asif Khan's Vantablack Winter Olympics Pavillion

The super-black building that ...
This is the first time an architectural structure has been covered in the super-black material
This is the first time an architectural structure has been covered in the super-black material
View 16 Images
The hallway a visitor travels through to enter the white inside of the pavilion
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The hallway a visitor travels through to enter the white inside of the pavilion
The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
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The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
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The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
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The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
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The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
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The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
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The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
This is the first time an architectural structure has been covered in the super-black material
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This is the first time an architectural structure has been covered in the super-black material
Khan's plans for the installation
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Khan's plans for the installation
Khan's plans for the installation
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Khan's plans for the installation
The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
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The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
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The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
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The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
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The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
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The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
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The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space

Back in 2014, the "blackest" material ever produced was revealed. Dubbed Vantablack, this material absorbed 99.96 percent of light that hit it. Now designer Asif Khan has created a stunning pavilion spray-painted with Vantablack for the Winter Olympics commissioned by Hyundai.

When Surrey Nanosystems developed a spray paint form of Vantablack in 2016 a controversy quickly brewed. UK artist Anish Kapoor began collaborating with the company and eventually gained exclusive rights to non-reflective pigment for artistic uses.

Asia Khan's latest building is the first architectural use of Vantablack spray paint, excitingly demonstrating how covering an entire three dimensional structure in the material turns it into a surreal, almost completely flat object. Heightening the illusion, Khan planted hundreds of LED lights into the curved facade creating a kind of star field effect.

The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 
The super-black structure is covered in Vantablack VBx2 spray paint 

Inside the pavilion Khan has built a stark white room containing a giant water installation. The installation inside emits 25,000 water droplets every minute. Each droplet travels through a minuscule landscape designed to resemble a picture of a city viewed from space. The entire experience continually shifts the viewers sense of scale, moving from the astronomical star field outside, to a planet viewed from above inside.

"In the project I wanted to move from the scale of the cosmos to the scale of water droplets in a few steps. The droplets contain the same hydrogen from the beginning of the universe as the stars," explains Khan of the overall concept.

The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space
The water installation inside uses water droplets to create a visage resembling the sight of a giant city from space

Click through to the gallery for a closer look at this fascinating architectural installation.

Source: Asif Khan

3 comments
aki009
Those in the know boycott Vantablack: https://hackaday.com/2018/01/25/the-current-state-of-the-black-market/ Plus that stuff is likely carcinogenic and constantly shedding...
GordonHoffman
I wonder about solar energy utilization with this coating! Does it have emissivity ratings - does it get extremely hot in the sun? Carcinogenic? What an interesting material!
ljaques
Now that I've seen a building painted with black spray paint, I know the meaning of life. (P.S: It hasn't changed. It's still 42.)