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Olympic Park Design Will Include Blackest Black

Monday, November 20, 2017

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A designer working on the Olympic park for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea has said that he will be using Vantablack—the world's blackest black—to emulate the night sky for visitors at the park's entrance.

Olympics Debut

British architect Asif Khan will be using the material on a building he is designing, which will greet visitors as they enter the Olympic park.

The design itself includes four curved walls, but from a distance, according to CNN, it will look like a black slit.

That's because the material—originally designed and intended for satellite-borne blackbody calibration systems—has the ability to seemingly render any 3-D object 2-D. Vantablack absorbs 99.96 percent of all light that hits it.

Each facade will feature thousands of tiny lights, meant to look like stars in the nighttime sky.

"It will be like you're looking into the depths of space itself," Khan told CNN. "As you approach the building that star field will grow to fill your entire field of view, and then you'll enter as though you're being absorbed into a cloud of blackness."

The architect hopes that, in contrast with the Olympic winter games’ whiteness, the building will give visitors an impression of a "void of infinite depth and possibility."

Vantablack Composition

According to Surrey NanoSystems, the original developer of Vantablack, the composition of Vantablack makes the substance ideal for light-suppression and light-management problems.

The manmade material is akin to a forest of millions of very small tubes made of carbon—also known as carbon nanotubes. Each nanotube is around 20 nanometers in diameter, about 3,500 times smaller than the diameter of the average human hair. Each nanotube ranges from 14 to 50 microns long; 1 centimeter squared would contain 1,000 million nanotubes.

According to CNN, the tubes themselves are “grown” under lamps that increase surface temperature to over 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

The material can also be spray-applied to complex surfaces.

Vantablack is also intended for use in high-performance infrared cameras and satellite-borne calibration sources.  


Tagged categories: Coating Materials; Color; Color + Design; Design; Design build

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