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All Aboard: Invisible Train Set For 2018

Dorathy Gass

Sounds like something in a sci-fi movie or children’s film; but there is in fact an invisible train set in the works, and it will be ready to roll, come 2018.

Actually, it’s almost completely invisible (you still do need to be able to see a little bit of it to board, right?), and the location of its debut is set to take place in Tokyo, Japan. The train itself has been designed by one of the top Japanese architects in the world, the award winning Kazuyo Sejima.

So, the question on everyone’s mind is really: how does the commuter train nearly appear invisible? Well, according to a report by Newsweek, the material used to build the train was semi-transparent and semi-reflective, substances that blend nicely into the train’s background as it travels, whether that be on the countryside or in urban centers.

As Sejima notes, the train moves in various and diverse sceneries, from the Chichibu mountains to the center of Tokyo, and he thought it would be a good idea for the train to gently coexist with the numerous backgrounds it road along.

In 1995, Sejima, along with Ryue Nishizawa, established the architecture firm, called SANAA. After over a decade later, the company has established a solid reputation for using space and light with its designs.

Sejima was hired to design the custom-built invisible train to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Seibu Group; as the organization owns Seibu Railways, one that handles train service in and around Saitama and Tokyo’s government districts.

In addition to this incredible invisible train, other well-known designs by Sejima and Nishizawa include: London’s Serpentine Pavilion, Switzerland’s Rolex Learning Center, Tokyo’s Christian Dior Building in Omotesando, Ohio’s Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion, and NYC’s New Museum of Contemporary Art. The duo also received the 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureates, the highest accolade in the architecture industry.

CNN reported as per the juror’s reasoning behind this acknowledgement, they stated that the architectural duo explore incredible elements of continuous space, transparency, lightness, and materiality and develop subtle synthesis, only like a very few others in their industry.