The blackest building on Earth
In February 2018, Asif Khan and his London-based architecture firm unveiled the Vantablack-coated Hyundai Pavilion in Pyeongchang. Studded with thousands of pinprick points of light, the otherwise blackest-of-black exterior is like a vision into the depths of outer space. The stars are on rods, all set at different depths, creating a three dimensional vision of space in which the “universe” seems to move as you walk past.
Inside, meanwhile, the pavilion is completely different. The interior is a stark, bright white throughout, with a water installation with drops of water running through channels carved into the floor. The droplets represent the hydrogen that formed at the beginning of the universe, the same as contained within the stars represented in the building’s exterior. On a more prosaic and commercial level, the whole thing is a reference to Hyundai’s latest venture into the world of fuel cell-powered vehicles.
Asif Khan’s London-based practice works across the fields of architecture, industrial and furniture design. It is dedicated to pushing these disciplines in innovative and unexpected directions.
In recognition of his design and delivery of the MegaFaces Pavilion at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Asif was awarded a Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Innovation. This is the first time the panel have awarded the prestigious prize to an architecture studio or a Russian project.
Asif’s notable recent works include being shortlisted, from over 1700 applicants, for the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition, ‘Radiant Lines’ for the Light in Winter Festival 2014 in Melbourne, a shortlisted design for the UK Pavilion for Milan Expo 2015 and ‘Parhelia’ for Swarovski at Design Miami. During the London 2012 Olympic Games, Asif was commissioned to design and deliver Coca-Cola’s landmark pavilion in the Olympic Park, following Coca-Cola’s search for the UK’S best young architecture studio.
In 2010 Asif was the first architect to be chosen for the Designers in Residence programme at the Design Museum London and was awarded Designer of the Future in 2011 by Design Miami. Asif lectures globally on his work and in the past has spoken at Harvard University, The Royal Academy, London, India Design Forum and Design Indaba in Cape Town.
Asif was born in South London and studied architecture at The Bartlett School, University College London. In 2004 he graduated as the best student in the faculty, was awarded the Donaldson medal and received a full scholarship for further study at the Architectural Association.
Visit the Website: www.asif-khan.com