Korean architectural studio GDS Architects has received the green light for its award winning 450 meter (1,476 ft) high Tower Infinity design. To be built near the Incheon International Airport just outside of Seoul, Tower Infinity will become the "world's first invisible tower" and third highest observation deck.
"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," says GDS Design Principal, Charles Wee.
Tower Infinity's "invisible" facade will be equipped with an elaborate LED system and 18 weatherproof optical cameras, giving pedestrians and passerbyers (from certain vantage points) the impression that the tower is invisible. With that being said, bird lovers must not fear, the architects have confirmed that the tower has been designed so as to remain visible to birds and air traffic.
"The tower poses absolutely no risk to planes with its use of flashing red lights and the fact that all planes will approach the nearby Incheon airport through standard approach corridors," Michael Collins, Director at GDS told Gizmag. "It is a common [belief] that 'typical' glass buildings pose a major threat to birds and the tower's facade patterning actually is more favorable towards warning birds and has the potential to incorporate subsonic, low frequency deterring sounds to ward off incoming birds- the same technology currently employed by many airports on their runways."
The tower will feature a series of steel support braces, while also being divided into 28 meter (92 ft) long triangular modules. The final result is a glass encased facade with a series of striking angular diamond shapes. Working alongside structural engineer King-Le Chang, the architects allowed for strategically positioned open-air sections within the tower's structure in an effort to reduce the effects of wind load. GDS Architects original competition entry also included room for photovoltaic cells, a wind turbine and access to geothermal energy. While the firm is unable to comment on the status of the proposed sustainable energy features, we do hope they won't be overlooked.
The tower's interior facilities include a range of visitor attractions which will be stretched across the numerous levels. These include a theater, Sky-Walk garden, restaurants, cafes and bars, plus the soaring outdoor viewing roof deck located 397 meters (1,302 ft) above the ground.
"Having visited several observation towers of the world, we felt an urgent need to go beyond just providing a viewing platform, but create a series of interactive kiosks, displays and simulations to create a more fulfilling experience," says Collins. "My personal favorite is the Sky-Walk Outdoor Garden that starts at 285 meters (935 ft) and takes people through an arboretum like environment till they reach 320 meters (1,050 ft) via the elevated circular ramp."
GDS Architects were unable to make any official comment with respect to the tower's construction schedule and project budget at this time.