South Korea Greenlights “Invisible” Skyscraper Construction Project

    September 17, 2013
    Bennett Rieser
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The U.S.-based architectural firm GDS Architects has been granted approval by the South Korean government to build the Infinity Tower, a glass-encased skyscraper that will be the third highest observation deck in the world and will include a sophisticated system of cameras and screens to trick the eye into thinking the tower disappears.

Backed by the Korea Land & Housing Corporation, the tower will mainly serve as an attraction: a movie theater, a water park, a roller coaster, lots of food and beverage stores, and a series of beautiful viewing decks will be set up for visitors to enjoy.

Infinity Tower will be built outside the capital of Seoul near the Incheon International Airport, and a target completion date has yet to be confirmed. When it is finished, the skyscraper is expected to be the sixth largest tower in the world.

CNN described the technology behind the tower’s invisibility trick, which is quite impressive: cameras placed at three varying heights, and six different sides of the building, will feed real-time images of the surroundings to sections of the building that are covered in hundreds of rows of LED screens. Those screens project the images captured by the cameras, and through digital processing, the images will be folded together to create a seamless panorama, giving the illusion that the building is disappearing.

Charles Wee, a design principal with GDS Architects, said of the design that “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 a more global narrative in the process.”

Some of the Twitter reactions to the tower’s announcement were quite strange, albeit humorous:

[Image via this YouTube video about the skyscraper]
  • Real

    Yep, I love technology. It can actually be used for a lot of good if people plan properly. Unfortunately, in this case, well I think, the whole airport next door is a pretty obvious problem in the current plans.

    Also, many people actually like to see tremendous feats of architecture. They can be pretty inspiring. Invisibility seems more suited to something like a cloak or a vehicle.

    • Javier

      People are dumb! even if the building seems invisible! Planes are flown by a computer and the planes fallows a flight path! why would they place a flying path near a building! For example the Washington DC National airport is near the Washinton monument! and it has never been hit!

  • http://partnershiptoronto.com/ Adam P.

    I can´t wait how the final result will look like, and even though I´m not convinced this building really fits the definition of invisible, I think it will be a stunning optical illusion. And when it comes to those weird comments I believe people should first dig up the actual facts and only then present their opinions. This is a rather controversial topic and they always tend to become subject of so many misinterpretations. I really don´t believe they would allow such a construction if there was a real threat present.