The “Darkest Building on Earth” By Asif Khan

WORDS  Mary Garner IMAGES Luke Hayes via

London-based designer Asif Khan has created what is being called the “darkest building on earth,” an all black pavilion for Hyundai in South Korea, designed for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The venue, which opened to the public a week ago, absorbs nearly 100% of the light that hits it, due to the fact that it has been coated with layers of Vantablack VBx2 paint.

The outside of the building looks almost flat, despite the fact that it juts out with rods that hold little lights that look like stars floating in the Milky Way. The building is in fact curved, further contributing to the illusion.

After walking through the darkest part of the pavilion, visitors get swept into an experience of contrasted light, as the individual is optically assaulted by a brightly lit white space.

The visitor’s presence in the white room triggers 25 000 raindrops per minute from a hydrophobic installation that is made with water and corian, filling the space with soothingly soft sounds.

View more of Asif Khan’s work at