The design process, through some architectural gestures and various symbolisms, aimed to create a building that would be an indisputable landmark of Busan. The need of such a landmark derives from the unique characteristics and dynamics of the city. Busan already enjoys exceptional natural and urban environment along with privileged location. All these factors consist of a perfect canvas for an architectural landmark of art and culture that will help the city to rise as a world class culture and tourism center.
The building consists of two prismatic volumes (white and a black), that surround a sphere of light. The symbolism is obvious. The white and black dragons of yin-yang. The yang volume is light and transparent. It is porcelain white and in our concept represents the eastern culture. On the other hand yin, the black volume, stands for the western culture. It is introvert, earthy, rational. Solid with sharp edges, made of hard black granite. The western art of opera meets the Far East in a building. In the center of a tight embracement of the two dragons, lies a luminous dome that symbolizes the knowledge, the wisdom, the new culture that derives from the osmosis of the two civilizations. Both elements maintain their essence and dynamics while cooperating with each other in order to reach equilibrium. In the internal building, the centripetal forces, created by the dragons’ embracement, are obvious around the sphere. Circle ramps rotate around it, guiding the visitors towards the upper levels of the structure to reveal the views to the sea, the city or the inner building itself. Finally, the ramps lead to the auditoriums, or to the top of the building.
The opera is designed to connect the sea and dry land. A reminder of sea waves but mountain slopes as well. It is the boundary between the two elements.The building is to serve as a performing arts center. It is a shell that will shelter all the facilities that constitute an opera. Two auditoria, dressing rooms, green rooms, wardrobes, rehearsal rooms and every space needed, are placed beneath this huge “umbrella”, organized in order to function. Both of the auditoria are designed to house high class events and the associated auxiliary spaces are capable to host smaller art events.The single shell idea is ecologically friendly as it allows it to function as a sustainable entity.
The whole structure through its “sloppy” nature, is totally accessible from the ground. It actually invites the users to walk all over its surface as they would do in a civic square, offering views to the sea and the city, as well as places to rest and relax. The shell of the building is blending with the landscape. It is accessible from almost everywhere as it is the natural continuity of the outer common space. A large cascading seating area is situated at the back of the building in order to host outdoor activities. It is designed as a whole entity so that the indoor activities and happenings can be transferred outside when the weather allows so. The building, the surrounding common space and the walking promenade on the top of the volumes, are the discrete elements that consist the whole of the Busan Opera House.
The access to the island remains as it was proposed in the original master plan. By the two bridges. The use of cars will be discouraged and other means of transportation will be proposed. Parkings around the Opera will be serving for the users and a small parking near the building will serve supply and emergency needs.
The building will be equipped to meet the needs of both the young and the elderly people as well as the disabled. The structure will be accessible to its peak with ramps and elevators. One of the worth-to-visit areas of the Busan Opera House will be the sky restaurant where the users can enjoy the views, protected from weather. However this is not the only leisure area. Several lounge areas can be found around the lobby, along with a VIP area that will supply food services and recreation. The offices are placed on an upper level over the entrance.
We consider the building to be more than just a synthesis of materials, volumes and structures. It is actually a combination of symbolisms and references. It is a machine that functions to achieve its destination. It is a longitudinal existence born from the past, pointing to the future.
Climate is a founding element of the project. Designed to function like a machine the structure makes direct use of climate control techniques. The project takes into account the natural available resources. The wind contributes to the natural ventilation of the building with appropriate openings on the structural skin reducing air pumping energy consumption and creating in some areas natural air flows. Openings are designed to allow natural lighting of the inside, thus minimizing the electricity consumption. Simultaneously, its power consumption is counterbalanced by the photovoltaic electric production on the facades of the skin. Water, that domains the site, provides the area with natural cooling mist. Finally the storm water is collected in an underground water tank to supply water for the plants, the artificial lake and the air-conditioning.Location: marine cultural region inside the redevelopment district in the North Port, Jung─gu, Busan, South Korea Architect: Office 25 Architects Project: Busan Opera House
Date: 06/2011 – 07/2011
Size: 60000 m²
State: on drawing board