Hyundai Pavilion by Asif Khan, 2018


Hyundai Pavilion by Asif Khan Studio commissioned by Hyundai Motors Company for PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games 2018 introduced the darkest building on earth.

As the world’s darkest building, the Hyundai Pavilion during the olympic game brought the automobile brand’s vision of future mobility to a physical space, to convey the story of its fuel-cell technology through unique journey of experiences; the Universe Water, and Hydrogen.

The pavilion’s exterior was sprayed with Surrey Nano System’s vantablack Vbx2 which absorbs over 99 percent of light. The facadeĀ consists of 1800 rods tipped with tiny white light protrude from the “super-black” parabolic curves of all four sides of the pavilion.

Film by Jun-Beum Seo

“As you approach you pick out the stars, and as you get closer the stars begin to move in parallax, which means they appear as a three dimensional body. As you walk past it they’re almost globular in their clustering.” described by Asif Khan.



Exterior photographs of the pavilion by Luke Hayes


Entering through a dark corridor visitors are invited to a bright white space with solid-surface Corian water table in the centre. This water table consists of channels carved into its surface as part of multi-sensory hydrophobic water installation. Here visitors can interact with sensors creating their own water droplets rolling along the channels colliding splitting and eventually merge together into a lake.

Interior interaction videos

Research and Development

Hyundai pavilion was a highly sophisticated a project requiring multiple streams of technical development with external collaborators such as Interactive Engineers (I-art) and Vantablack scientists (Surrey NanoSystems) and local and international fabricators.

During the R&D process before reaching out to all the external specialists, we had to ensure that promising level of the ‘proof of concept’ was shown to convince the client and collaborators about the idea.

This includes testing of water droplet movements on super-hydrophobic surface with various materials and shape, spraying of Vantablack Vbx2 on various curved surface for the performance test, and the construction of 1:4 scale LED mounted mock up for lighting test.

Screenshot 2018-11-27 at 23.02.18

1 to 4 scale mock of the section of the exterior facade shown at CNN report

Construction of the corian water channel on site


Making sure that the modular precast panels were mounted in right orientation


Checking the quality of the Vbx2 spray on the facade and rods.


Cannes Lion Design Award – Bronze

Project credits:

Client: Hyundai Motor Company
Design: Asif Khan
Main contractor: Hyundai Engineering
Interactive engineer: iart
Facade coating: Surrey NanoSystems
Structural engineer: AKTII
Environmental engineer: Atelier Ten
Environmental sound: Why Do Birds?
Interior contractor: GL
Local architect: Unsangdong Architects
Agency: Innocean Worldwide