The great skyscrapers of the modern era can be described using adjectives like imposing, inspiring, overwhelming and arrogant, but they are not only competing to satisfy insatiable vanities (personal or cultural) in their continued race to reach heaven. These days, futuristic architecture and cutting edge technology are the “added” elements that will inevitably change the skylines of the world’s new cities.
As in a great magic trick, GDS Architects has designed the first “invisible building” in the world. Tower Infinity will soar to 1,476 feet and will be built in the Yongsan business district, near Incheon International Airport, just outside Seoul, South Korea. Tower Infinity will introduce state-of-the-art optical camouflage that will render the building practically invisible. This large glass needle will be equipped with a sophisticated computer system, LED cameras and projectors that will create a reflective cover on the building’s exterior, making it translucent during the day and bright at night.
To achieve this fabulous display of architectural innovation, the tower will have 18 strategically placed optical cameras, which will capture real-time views of the surroundings and project them onto the building. The images will be adjusted, rotated and linked by a complex digital process.
Michael Collins, director of GDS Architects explained that according to your viewpoint, “you will be able to see through it, or the structure may be only partially visible.” Experts believe the invisible tower will become an unavoidable focal point for the city.
The designers claim that the aim of the chameleonic paraphernalia used in the construction of this structure will be to not disrupt the landscape of the rest of the city.
The Tower Infinity project will have multiple uses and is part of an entertainment complex that will include, among other amenities, a 4D theater, cinemas, shops, several restaurants, spaces for weddings, a roller coaster and lush gardens. The surrounding urban plan includes deep lakes for boating and different water park activities.
The tower’s interiors have been designed to make us feel as if we were in some kind of monumental spaceship. Stylized symmetrical columns elegantly support the structure while wide corridors and interior balconies achieve a harmonious balance. Likewise, the combination of glass, steel and solid colors in contrast to the surrounding vegetation, give the building an organic and welcoming feeling.
In apparent defiance of the laws of gravity, Tower Infinity will house the third tallest observation deck in the world. The tower would also join the list of the ten tallest buildings in the world, although GDS Architects says “The tower subtly demonstrates Korea’s rising position in the world by establishing its most powerful presence through diminishing its presence. Korea will have a unique position of having the ‘best’ tower by having an ‘anti-tower’.”
Tower Infinity is a prime example that someday man could “touch the sky” with the palm of his hand. ■