Hyundai Pavilion at 2018 Winter Olympics by Asif Khan

PyeongChang, South Korea Has The Darkest Building On Earth And There’s Nothing Sinister About It

Don’t worry. Hell is not upon us, yet. The “darkest building on Earth” is actually a Hyundai pavilion/art installation presented by artist Asif Khan at the 2018 Winter Olympics, happening from February 9-25 at PyeongChang, South Korea. Essentially a black silhouette, especially when viewed in low light, the building appears a regular straight sided structure, but it is really not. The blackness of the building managed to conceal its parabolic sides and the many tiny lights scattered around its exterior surfaces further serve to distract observers from this fact.

Hyundai Pavilion at 2018 Winter Olympics by Asif Khan

To achieve this mind-blowing blackness, Asif Khan coated the building’s exterior with VantaBlack VBx2, sprayable version of the supposedly blackest black substance (only to be ousted by Black 2.0), that is so black that it is said that it absorbs more than 99 percent of the light that lands on it. If not for the tiny lights that decorated the exterior, you would not have seen it on photos, or mistaken it for a silhouette of a building. Speaking of the tiny lights, they are actually stuck to the end of rods of varying lengths, protruding out of the surface of this temporary architecture.

Hyundai Pavilion at 2018 Winter Olympics by Asif Khan

Presumably, the rods are coated in the same VantaBlack to conceal this fact. Anyways, the combination of the subtle parabolic sides, varying length rods, random placement, and the incredible darkness of the exterior creates the illusion of the night sky filled with stars. However, on the inside, it is an entirely different world. Entering the building, you will be transported into the opposite spectrum: extreme whiteness where an interactive hydrophobic installation awaits.

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Hyundai Pavilion at 2018 Winter Olympics by Asif Khan

Walking into the building is akin to stepping into the darkness only to find serenity and calmness offered by the contrasting white space and the strangely soothing sound from the water droplets traveling through the many tiny aqueducts. Now, I am not a total art nuts or profess to be one, but by the mere experience from the video, I could already feel what the artist tries to convey. Or it could be just mine assumption. Anyways, that’s not important.

Hyundai Pavilion at 2018 Winter Olympics by Asif Khan

The thing is, there is, for now, the darkness building on Earth and it is nothing sinister about it. If you are still expecting a portal to another dimension within this insanely black structure, well, you will be disappointed. If anything, the inside is more like an Eden. And oh, it has more than just droplet installation; this being a Hyundai pavilion, it also has a space where Hyundai shows off its fuel cell technology and a cosy lounge area for guests to chill out.

Hyundai Pavilion at 2018 Winter Olympics by Asif Khan

Hyundai Pavilion at 2018 Winter Olympics by Asif Khan

Hyundai Pavilion at 2018 Winter Olympics by Asif Khan

Images and source: Dezeen.