The South Korean government has given the green light to the construction of the world's first "invisible" skyscraper, which will employ sophisticated engineering tricks to make itself almost completely undetectable to the human eye during daylight conditions.
Tower Infinity, to be situated just outside the South Korean capital of Seoul near the Incheon International Airport, will use a combination of cameras and LED projectors to render itself “invisible” by displaying real time images of the surrounding sky on its surface.
The technology used to create an “invisible” building a reality is akin to the cloaking technology which has long been a staple of science fiction, and has been touted as possessing vital military applications.
A system of cameras installed in the skyscraper will film the aerial vistas surrounding the building. Computers will then use this footage to create a composite panoramic image which will be projected onto the building’s exterior.
The final result will be a building which will appear transparent during daylight conditions.
At 450 metres in height, the skyscraper will be the sixth-tallest building in the world upon completion. It will also come equipped with the world’s third highest observation deck, which will offer visitors a superlative view of aircraft entering and leaving the Incheon International Airport.
While some would question the prudence of building an invisible skyscraper so close to a busy airport, GDS Architects, the firm behind Tower Infinity’s design, says the skyscraper is intended to serve as an ironic symbol of South Korea’s rise to the position of one of Asia’s leading economies.
“Instead of symbolizing prominence as another of the world’s tallest and best towers, our solution aims to provide the world’s first invisible tower, showcasing innovative Korean technology while encouraging more global narrative in the process,” said GDS principal Charles Wee.
US-based GDS Architects, in cooperation with Samoo Architects and A&U, came first in a national design competition launched by the Korea Land & Housing Corporation in 2011 for the provision of design and engineering services for an airport observation tower.
The tower is expected to be completed by as soon as 2014.