Designing an Invisible Tower

Korean skyscraper will use LED technology to disappear

skyscraper, building, architecture, tower, LED, Korea, invisible, camoflageKorean architectural firm GDS Architects plans to build a 450m (1,476ft) tall LED covered tower. Rather than trying to rival some of today’s massive skyscrapers by building ever taller, the design team at GDS chose to make their project unique by making it invisible.

“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,” said GDS Design Principal, Charles Wee.

To achieve this feat, GDS Architects are cladding their building in some innovative LED technology that will display images from 18 weatherproof cameras mounted around the building.  To make this system work the architects designed a method to capture an image that’s directly behind each of the towers many faces. Once that image has been captured it’s streamed to the tower’s opposite face where it becomes a camouflage, making the building appear invisible.

Named the Tower Infinity, the structure is to be built near the Incheon International Airport some 30km (18 mi) from the capital Seoul.  According to Michael Collins, director at GDS Architects, despite its proximity to the airport and the tower’s unique invisible characteristics, the building poses no risk to incoming planes. “The tower poses absolutely no risk to planes with its use of flashing red lights and the fact that all planes will approach the nearby Incheon airport through standard approach corridors”.

So will people flock to Seoul to nab a glimpse of the world’s first invisible tower?  Or will it’s invisibility make for a frustrating tourist experience? 

Images Courtesy of GDS Architects