The architect Asif Khan’s latest project, a 13,000 square feet and 33 feet tall structure, is really more of a warehouse and is an unglamorous part of the Olympics in South Korea. It’s a sponsored pavilion, at the Olympics, for the car company Hyundai’s global mobility initiative.
However, Khan’s building is notable for one reason: in this project, we can see first-ever architectural application of a new material from the startup Surrey Nanosystems who is the creator of Vantablack. Vantablack is world’s darkest black paint that absorbs 99.9% of all light. In fact, Vantablack isn’t quite a paint; it’s a dense coating, made up of carbon nanotubes. It’s a widely publicized material originally designed for satellites in 2012. Khan’s building is the first time the stuff has been used in architecture.
Vantablack when it made its debute generated lot of interest all around, including art fraternity. Though the product was originally developed for technical uses, the artist Anish Kapoor famously secured exclusive rights to use the stuff in art. Vantablack VBx 2 has been developed by Surrey Nanonsystems over the past few years for aesthetic purposes in design, art, and other industries.
You can’t just buy Vantablack and paint it on. SNS has to be involved with the application process of the highly flammable liquid, which has to be applied in a sprayed method overseen by the company. The building in question was coated in VBx 2 by a team of British and Korean painters that had to be trained by SNS directly.