Hyundai Pavilion by Asif Khan, 2018

architecture

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 facade 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.

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Exterior photographs of the pavilion by Luke Hayes

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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

My Role

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.

My role of the project was to make series of tests and mock-ups to show to the team the visible feedback of what was possible.

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.

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

Water droplet visibility test on coloured superhydrophobic surfaces

Design

  • Facade

I was responsible for the computation of the 1800 Leds on facade and the modularisation of the panels for the manufacturers. Computation of the spread of LEDs on facade was achieved through ImageSampling function, collecting the brightness of the starts at specific location of the sky to determine the location LED and the length of the Rod holding the LED.

warping and projection of modules to facade

Modularisation of the LED rods and the metal panels.

This process of modularisation was vital to reduce the manufacturing period to have all the pre-fabricated panel arrive to site on time.

  • Water Installation

For the water installation, together with the project architect I was responsible for the drawing of the water channel and the development of the interactive aspects of the installation. This water installation and interactive aspects were later refined by the interactive engineers from I-art and I helped the communication between I-art and the local Korean contractors to make sure that the interactive mechanism and engineering was incorporated into the overall architecture.

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Making drawing of the water channels of the water installation.

Construction of the corian water channel on site

Construction

During the construction I performed as a on-site supervisor my primary duty was at design guardianship making sure the concept and the design as pictured by our director Asif Khan was maintain throughout. I was responsible with looking over every-day construction schedule and forming a communication dialogue between I-art (interactive engineer) and Hyundai Engineering Company to make sure that all party were in-line with each other in terms of the construction.

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

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

Pizza + broth meeting, one of the most meaningful moment on site was the collaboration between people from different backgrounds.

Award

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