The darkest building on earth: An Olympic pavilion sprayed in Vantablack

Architect Asif Khan designed a pavilion for the PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony coated in Vantablack VBx2, a highly coveted pigment which consists of carbon nanotubes that absorb 99% of light, making it difficult to make out shapes and textures on its surface. Khan creates a starry sky effect with the addition of thousands of illuminated rods extending from the facade.

Vantablack is perhaps most famous for being licensed exclusively to the sculptor of Anish Kapoor, a controversial designation that hasn’t made Kapoor too popular with his fellow artists and spawned some passive-aggressive sparring. Ben Jensen of Surrey Nanosystems, which created the material, says Vantablack will never be a retail product because it has to be applied by specialist contractors using a technique that forms a consistent nanostructure.

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ACSES Engineers is a specialist structural, civil and geotechnical engineering consulting firm with extensive experience in a broad range of project scopes.