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Now you see it... The 'invisible' skyscraper which can DISAPPEAR (but why are architects building it near an airport?)

In an illusion that TV magician David Copperfield would be proud of, work is about to begin on building the world's first 'invisible' tower.

Tower Infinity, a 450-metre tall glass structure, will use a series of state-of-the art LED lighting and cameras to create a 'reflective skin' on the exterior of the building to make it 'disappear', according to the architect behind the scheme.

GDS Architects first began designing the tower on the outskirts of South Korea's capital Seoul and near the city's airport in 2004, but has only now been given the green light to start its construction.

The tower has been designed purely for entertainment purposes, and will feature the second highest observation deck in the world, standing 392 metres above the ground.

The tallest observation platform will continue to be the Canton Tower in Guangdong, China, which stands at 488 metres.

Tower Infinity will also have a roller coaster, water park, restaurants, wedding venues and landscaped gardens, according to architect website Inhabitat.

As well as having the honour of being the world's first 'invisible' tower, it will also be among the top 10 tallest buildings in the world, according to architecture website, Inhabitat.

And it stands an impressive five times higher than the Statue of Liberty, which Copperfield famously made 'disappear' in 2009.

In a statement, GDS said: 'Instead of symbolising prominence as another of the world’s tallest and best towers, it sets itself apart by celebrating the global community rather than focusing on itself.

'The tower subtly demonstrates Korea’s rising position in the world by establishing its most powerful presence through diminishing its presence.'

According to architecture website Phaidon, the ground-breaking project 'aims towards invisibility through the use of specially positioned optical cameras and LEDs to create a reflective skin on the building'.

People using the lifts will be treated to 'views from the world', in which images will be flashed up of the vistas from the tallest buildings in the world.

Senior Associate at GDS Michael Collins was quoted as saying: 'Users enter the elevator and upon ascent to the observation level, begins a user experience where all walls transform into actual views at their corresponding heights from significant observation towers/buildings around the world.

'This simulated experience is not intended to replace the actual experience, but inspire people to travel to these worldly destinations and discover an interest in cultures other than their own.'

GDS won the first phase of Korea Land Corporation’s design competition in March 2008 from 146 entries from 46 countries.

The firm, which has offices in South Korean and the US, has previously designed the Miram Skypark in Busan, and the Tripolis Kolon development in Bundang, both in South Korea. 

THE TOP 10 TALLEST TOWERS

  1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE, 828m
  2. Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China, 632m
  3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 601m
  4. One World Trade Center, New York, USA, 541m
  5. Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan, 509m
  6. Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China, 492m
  7. International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong, 484m
  8. Petronas Tower 1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 452m
  9. Petronas Tower 2, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 452m
  10. Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China, 450m

2013-09-13, The Daily Mail, Stuart Woledge.


Keywords: South Korea, architecture, top lists

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