a colourless building by british architect, asif khan, will be unveiled at the 2018 winter olympics in south korea creating a ‘schism in space’. the building which will appear to be the darkest black, will use vantablack — a super black and world’s darkest material that reflects so little light it’s described as the closest thing to a black hole. the colour is known mostly for the controversy surrounding it, after last year indian-born british artist anish kapoor acquire exclusive rights to the revolutionary pigment.

asif khan darkest material building winter olympics anish kapoor
vantablack will be used by british archtiect asif khan to create a structure for the witner olympics in south korea
all images courtesy of surrey nanosystems



vantablack was first developed by surrey nanosystems three years ago, a development that has attracted designers, architects such as asif khan, and aerospace engineers ever since. the material consists of about one billion carbon nanotubes per square centimetre which trap light before converting it into heat. together these nanotubes allow vantablack to absorb 99.96% of the light that hits its surface.

asif khan darkest material building winter olympics anish kapoor



it will be like you’re looking into the depths of space itself… 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.’ khan told CNN. the building will be a ‘schism in space‘, khan added, explaining that visitors will see it as soon as they enter the olympic park.


VBx1 super-black non-nanotube coating
video by surrey nanosystems



when coated over three-dimensional objects, vantablack has incredible optical effects, making it difficult to discern surface features. khan hopes people his use of the groundbreaking material will make visitors to the olympics feel a ‘void of indefinite depth and possibility’ ushering them into a philosophical experience.