As cities set out to establish “landmarks” on their skylines, taller buildings are normally thought of as better–even if the buildings aren’t very functional. A recent report showed how many of the world’s highest achievements are “vanity skyscrapers”: About 800 feet of Dubai’s 2716-feet Burj Khalifa is a “non-occupiable” spire, for example. Likewise, the Zifeng Tower in Nanjing, China, has 436 feet of useless appendage on top of it.
But the totem-building era may be coming to an end. A new building set for Seoul’s horizon is a lot less conspicuous than something like New York’s Bank of America Tower (36% non-occupiable space). In fact, it’s designed to be invisible–at least at night. The Tower Infinity uses a series of weatherproof cameras to capture pictures of the building’s surroundings, which it then projects back on to the facade, creating a camouflage effect. The concept was developed by GDS Architects, a Korean-American firm.
In a press release, GDS’s Charles Wee says the building aligns with “the introspection of the Korean nation” and is meant as “a social commentary and challenge the status quo.”
He adds: “Rather than fall victim with trying to compete with the great iconographic landmarks of the world or develop another version of the tallest observation tower, our heart, minds, and motivation were set to represent the power of absence and strength of nothingness.” Which certainly sounds impressive.
The Infinity will be located near Seoul’s Incheon airport. You can see more renderings in the slide show above.