Permits Approved for Korea’s ‘Invisible’ High-Rise

High Rise Facilities | September 13, 2013
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Pasadena-based GDS Architects’ 450-meter-tall (1,476-feet) Tower Infinity observation tower has received permit approval for construction near Incheon International Airport just outside of Seoul, Korea. The building’s media facade will use a sophisticated system of LED screens that will project the surroundings to effectively camouflage the tower.

GDS in collaboration with Samoo Architects and A&U were awarded first prize in a National Design Competition sponsored by Korea Land Housing to provide Design and Engineering services for the ambitious project which is poised to become Korea’s National Landmark back in April 2011. In addition, GDS Architects won the original International Idea Competition out of 146 entries from 46 countries in December of 2008.

Charles Wee, AIA, GDS Principal said, “Instead of symbolizing prominence as another of the world’s tallest and best towers, our solution aims to provide the World’s first invisible tower, showcasing innovative Korean technology while encouraging a more Global narrative in the process. We are elated that the many years of design, testing and coordination have led us to that all important step of beginning the building process. We look forward to providing Korea and the World with a completely new model for what it means to be an observation tower.”

The illusion of invibility will be created by placing cameras on each of the towers six sides and then dispalying real-time images of the surrounding area on 1,500 LED screens mounted to the building’s facade. The media facade may also be used for broadcasting special events or for advertising, according to GDS.

Plans call for the development to include a 4D theater, public spaces, restaurants and a water park.

“We are pleased that Tower Infinity will boast the third highest observation deck in the world and will become the world’s first “invisible tower” through the use of a sophisticated LED facade system with optical cameras, says Michael Collins, Director at GDS.

The GDS design team includes Charles Wee-Design Principal, Scott Callihan, Michael Collins; GDS Korea: Jae Young Jang, Yong Won Sohn and Min Wook Kang; Structural Engineer: King-Le Chang of KLC Taiwan.

Renderings courtesy of GDS Architects

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Category: Building Envelope & Facade Access Intelligence, Global Facilities

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