Located in the Busan North Port development area, the Busan Opera House is home to a cultural complex department, museums, a maritime culture center, a cruise center, waterfront causeway, public parks, an opera, a theater and a business district. It was crucial for Kubota & Bachmann Architects that the BOH program and its architectural form integrate into the existing master plan, and express the new and unique creative character of the Busan North Port. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The BOH is situated at the southern end of a new artificial island. The form of the proposed project is a direct result of the site conditions: on the one hand, the plan is a response to the island’s outline, and on the other hand, the form of the BOH recalls the silhouette of the mountains surrounding the city. The circular form is also designed to allude to the Taegeuk and the traditional ceramic base. The smooth shape is meant to be a contemporary interpretation of these elements of traditional Korean culture. As a result, the BOH is designed to provide harmony and balance to the Busan North Port Development.
A particularly key and innovative feature of the proposed design for the BOH is its patio formed by a void in the center of the new Opera House. This void is at the center of the site, and is also at the heart of the project. As Anish Kapoor said, ‘Emptiness does lead to emptiness’. Everything is organized around this central void: a circular foyer makes a loop and connects the Opera, the Multipurpose Theater and the Multipurpose Hall. This emptiness (which is actually a major space that gives this project an innovative identity) shrouds an exterior bench surrounding a water pond that is directly connected to the sea. This void provides an exceptional location for theatrical events – an extension of the shows occurring inside the BOH- this creating an animated and exceptional space in the Busan North Port.
The temporary stage on the floating platforms in the pond combined with LED screen system, which constitutes a sun protection system for the foyer and ensures a warm space on the facade of the patio, offers a waterfront spectacle every night for all Busan inhabitants.
The BOH is in harmony with the spirit of Busan Port like a beat flowing with music. The chorus lies in the heart of the busan north port: a multitude of impressions coming from multiple sources blend naturally to form a harmonious whole, creating a dramatic and emotional space. and of course, the natural beauty of the Lake Melasjärvi.
The Busan Opera House combines different cultural traditions. The different alphabets and notation systems used on the facade represent these traditions: the Hangul Alphabet, the Latin Alphabet, and musical notations. These are combined like concrete poetry to create light and dark textures across the facade. The facade design is inspired by concrete poetry that makes shapes and form from text. Text is also a major cultural symbol. The Busan Opera House is a place where different languages and cultures can come together harmoniously.
The facade tries to represent this by combining three different notation systems: the hangul alphabet used in South Korea, the latin alphabet traditionally used in opera librettos, and musical notations. Symbols from each alphabet are organized in a grid. When all three layers are overlayed, new symbols emerge from the overlap. Some symbols can be recognized as belonging to a particular alphabet, while others are completely new combinations. Each alphabet has lighter and darker symbols, that are combined together to create openings and gradients in the facade.
Architects: Kubota & Bachmann Architects Location: Busan, South Korea Designers: Toshihiro Kubota, Yves Bachmann, Ikbal Bouaita Landscape Architect: Bassinet Turquin Paysage Environmental Engineer: Øyvind VESSIA Perspectives: Sebastien Rageul Artist Collaboration: Clement Valla, Kubota & Bachmann Architects Client: Busan Metropolitan City Type of Competition: Open International Competition Program: Opera house (2,000 seats), Multi Purpose Theater (1,300 seats), Common area and Auxiliary facilities Site Area: 35 000 m² Building Surface area: 60 000 m² Schedule: Expected Construction in 2014