A tower in Taiwan uses porous walls to allow views of the city to shine through.

Can you see it?

It seems that a rising trend in architecture is actually an older trend in magic: making large things disappear. Sou Fujimoto’s plans for a tower in Taiwan takes a stab at such a feat, using porous walls that allow views of the city to penetrate through the superstructure as if it were a curtain of mesh. Now, international practice GDS Architects are setting out to build what will allegedly be the world’s first invisible tower, an observation ‘anti tower’ that will be the first design proposal for a landmark that earns its keep by essentially refusing to be a landmark.

Though the renderings seen on Bustler reveal a somewhat phallic crystalline tower imbued with a tinted glow reminiscent of Avatar’s endangered forests, GDS Architects assured the Cheongna City Tower Competition jury that the Eco Prism will use optical technology to seemingly disappear, cloaking its extensive program of cultural, sports, and ecological activities in invisibility. The message behind the trickery is an admirable one: “Instead of symbolizing 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.”


Humility aside, the Eco Prism will undoubtedly be far from unnoticed leading up to its expected completion in 2014. Sprawling over 145,500 square meters and climbing 450 meters tall, the construction cannot shed its identity as a spectacular supertall, especially if its stealth powers prove effective. Let’s see if GDS can get away with building nothing at all.

All images courtesy the architects. This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

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