Busan Opera House Competition Entry / WAHAG Studio

Courtesy of WAHAG Studio

WAHAG Studio shared with us their competition entry in the international ideas competition to establish a design for the Busan Opera House, which is expected to begin construction in 2014. The opera house will include a variety of facilities that will foster a wide range of artistic activities all the while being accessible to the city’s citizens. The grand scale of this project will be suitable for Busan’s status as an international city. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The form consists of three major forms which are the opera house, multipurpose hall, cafe and library zone. The three forms have the same profile line as seen in cross section, but in different heights according to the activity of each area. These profiles are connected together creating the form in the shape of a mountain and with the form of three dancing birds around a circle, combining dancing, singing, and performing in one building.


The three dancing birds make a ring space, which is used as the outdoor plaza, and three main areas, for the idea that people, culture and nature meet in one place that combine dancing, singing and performing. Most of the walking areas have ramps to connect different levels considering an easy flow of people getting in and out, besides that considering handicaps in all circulation area of the project.


Form Evolution


The target is to merge the exterior with the interior, to make the visitor travel from the work world to the entertainment and culture world. The form is a combination of 3 buildings in one body surrounding the main plaza that mixes the spirit (the main hall) and the entertainment (multipurpose) and recreation (library & restaurant) in one place adding the city skyline view to the privacy of the place.

The project is a symbolic building on the sea front of Busan. The idea is to make a building that attracts the eye and makes one feel interested to visit it, as the white color in the morning is so recognized beside the surrounding skyscrapers, and the lights by night gives it a unique appearance on the sea front.

colored elevations

The main entrance comes from the pedestrian bridge directly to the center of the project inside the plaza, so it is easy to know the direction and places in the building because of the shape, size and facade.

city section

Structure and Colors

form evolution diagram

Structure is space truss depending on the curvature of the form so the weight of building is distributed to the ground. The skin of the form changes its color and because of the curvature, it gives a gradient with different hues.

Many Thanks to AORTA for his permission to use his awesome work “Opera Birds”

Architects: WAHAG Studio Location: Busan, South Koreaa Team: M. Mansour Gebaly, Wael Hussein Mahmoud Type of Competition: open international competition Site Area: 35,000 m2

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "Busan Opera House Competition Entry / WAHAG Studio" 19 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/161652/busan-opera-house-competition-entry-wahag-studio> ISSN 0719-8884

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