Most skyscraper architects want to build towers that are conspicuous signatures of a city's skyline. However, GDS Architects are taking a different approach. The international architectural firm is hoping to make their mark by building "the world's first invisible tower."
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Now that a construction permit has been granted, work can begin on The Tower Infinity, which will be located near the Incheon Airport outside of Seoul, South Korea. Once completed, the tower will top out at 1,476 feet.
Also known as the City Tower, the building's optical illusion will be made possible by a high-tech LED facade that includes projectors and 18 weatherproof cameras strategically placed on the external surface. The cameras will capture real-time photos of the area directly behind the tower. Those images will then be digitally stitched into a panorama and projected back onto the building's surface. At certain times of the day, viewers will get the feeling of looking through the building to the other side.
"The tower subtly demonstrates Korea's rising position in the world by establishing its powerful presence through diminishing its presence," GDS's website explains. "Korea will have the unique position of having the ‘best' tower by having an ‘anti-tower.'"
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But don't let the project's symbolic juxtaposition fool you; the Tower Infinity will also be capable of selling a lot of ads. GDS says the camera-and-projector technology will allow the tower to become a 450-meter-tall billboard screen and an urban focal point for people arriving at Incheon Airport.
GDS has not set a target date of completion, but once finished, the tower will be home to a 4-D movie theater, a water park, landscaped gardens and the third-highest observation deck in the world.
While the concept of an invisible skyscraper is certainly captivating, local birds and airplane pilots might beg to differ.