Based in Egypt, young architecture firm Task Architects shared with us their proposal for the Busan Opera House competition. With the largest port in the country, Busan makes for one of the most important cities in Korea as the project is located in the newly developed area of the north port. Therefore, they wanted to create an Icon. A monument that would shift the vision of the locals and international visitors alike. The design would create new experiences for each visitor in order to be welcoming and inviting to become the city’s vision of future development. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Abstractness Directed toward “Chun”
The most remarkable characteristic of Korean philosophy is the thought of “Chun (heaven, 天)”. Koreans have a deep desire to become one with “Chun”, and carry nostalgia for heaven. Thus, Korean art contains a spirituality directed toward “Chun”.
Designs like “Chun” are like a design following nature, a design created by the “public self” without self-interest. This means embracing everything from a holistic standpoint transcending the individual standpoint, and putting public interest before private interest. Therefore, in Korean design, a design without a moral is meaningless. The recovery of morality in design is the discovery of “Chun”, which is Korean originality.
Sentiments of Human Nature
Korean design is warm. The warmth originates in the “In (benevolence)” of Koreans’ personalities. A person that is “In” is “a person who practices love”, “a person who lives by his/her nature”, and “a person with spiritual culture.” Such a person reveals “Eui (righteousness 義)”, “Ye (propriety 禮)”, and “Ji (wisdom 智) based on “In (仁)”. These four virtues form the fundamentals of the human being, and people set the basic orientations for their minds and shape their ways of life based on these virtues.
Abstractness, Life, Human Nature
In order to put the 21st century paradigm into practice, a philosophy is established by “knowing oneself, and maintaining the right attitude”. Thus, Korean contemporary design will be able to acquire universal sympathy and competitiveness when designers fully understand Korean thought.
The new paradigm of design based on the three concepts deducted from Korean thought – abstractness, life, and human nature – will proceed to a higher dimension of cultural harmony between East and West, maintaining a balance with the previous experience of Western material culture. Furthermore, the establishment of Korean design philosophy will provide principles to create new methodologies for Korean design in a new era.
When started working on the project we wanted to create great memorable moments for the visitors from the minute they he approaches the project. We designed three main exterior spaces, the entrance space as the visitors move under the huge cantilever and hangout on the stepped plaza overlooking the park on the other side, the main exterior plaza that’s designed to be completely serine and can be an escape from the city life for both visitors and artists, and the sky terrace right in the end of the cantilever which visitors can easily access from the exterior plaza giving them a new experience standing at its very end observing the new developments of the north port.
Architects: Task Architects
Location: Busan, South Korea
Design Team: Khaled ElAshry, Taymour Senbil, Ahmad Badr ElDin, Aya Ibrahi