South Korea to Build Invisible Skyscraper …

right next to an airport.

What could go wrong?

International architectural firm GDS Architects reports that it’s received a construction permit to begin building “the world’s first invisible tower.” The Tower Infinity will stand 450 meters (1,476 feet) and be situated in Cheongna, near the Incheon Airport just outside of Seoul.

Like other concepts for invisibility cloaks that have tantalized the geeky imagination, this one relies on optical illusion.

The glass-encased Tower Infinity, also called City Tower, will be fitted with a high-tech LED facade that integrates projectors and 18 strategically placed weatherproof optical cameras.

The cams will snap real-time pictures of the area directly behind the building, digitally stitch the images into a panorama, and project them back onto the building’s reflective surface. That will create the illusion that viewers are looking straight through the structure to the other side, making it appear to blend into the skyline at certain times of day.

Of course, a building capable of displaying images like this is also capable of displaying anything: art, nature photos, and other things of beauty. There’s something almost juvenile in the idea that their first thought was: “Let’s make it invisible because … that’s cool!”

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • Manny

    The question is why? Who cares that it’s invisible. What’s the point?

  • Dale

    The tower will be located 18 km (about 11 miles) from the airport, and no flight paths come any where near the location, so there shouldn’t be any problem with planes.

    But what exactly is a 4D theater? And if the invisible tower can sometimes be turned into a 450 meter tall billboard, just how ugly will it be?

  • victor

    Anyone want to bet on how long it’ll be before some prankster reconfigures the projectors so the entire building looks like a giant male member?