The Vantablack Pavillion

In only a few hours, another Olympic torch will be lit and the majority of winter sports enthusiasts world wide will turn their attention towards South Korea. Those traveling to Pyeongchang to witness the spectacles, be it athlete or onlooker, will get a chance to indulge in a pavilion painted in the blackest colour that has ever existed.

As stated to Dezeen by the architect, Asif Khan, it is «the darkest building on earth», which is true, unless somebody else already have painted a building with the scientifically developed Vantablack—a colour so dark it absorbs 99% of all light, making it next to impossible for the human eye to perceive the shape of any kind of object it may coat. It cast zero reflection, gives zero texture—like a black hole sucking in light. It's a literary case of «you won’t believe your own eyes.»

The pavilion, which is temporarily built for the Olympics, is an impressive 10x35x35 meters large structure, and is first and foremost an installation built to serve as a multi-sensory experience. White light rods are placed all over the pavilion’s four sides, giving the duality between tiny lights and complete darkness a space-like experience. When approaching the pavilion, the combination between the structureless blackness and the three dimensional light rods creates an optic illusion; as if your sucked into darkness, floating in kosmos. Khan has described the project as his way of creating the impression of a window into space, and further referred to his preoccupation where he’s trying to create experiences to better understand where we are now as humans. 

When entering the building, onlookers are presented to the complete opposite; A completely white and open space which functions as a water installation where tiny tracks, or carvings, guide drops of water in a seamless matter along the floor towards the middle of the room.

The pavilion was commissioned by Hyundai Motors as part of their global art initiative.

ArchitectureMarkus Støle