The new 'Busan Metropolitan Opera' sits at the intersection point of the two bridges leading up to the competition site, tying the Opera into the city fabric while at the same time interweaving it with the picturesque waterfront promenade. The ensemble of opera and multifunctional theater further divides the site into a series of differentiated territories, each of which fully draws on the potential of a site suspended between city and sea.
An urban plaza facing Busan’s skyline invites visitors and locals alike to wile away the hours on hot summer nights while a gently sloped seaside stage allows for unobstructed vistas across the water. It is here where people meet to see performances on the outdoor stage or simply watch as cruise ships go by. Finally, a rooftop terrace serves as a third main plaza, offering stunning views of both the city as well as the waterfront.
At the very heart of the site, however, the Opera itself is located, designed to be perceived as a shimmering iconic figure which sits on the edge of the waterfront like an iceberg. Programmatically it is lifted off of the ground and seamlessly connects the interior polifunctional foyer to the aforementioned surrounding plazas, allowing visitors to effortlessly enter from all directions.
The Opera’s principal design evolved from the image of drapes and folds in stage curtains and their fascinating affective qualities and immediate aesthetic impact. Like an urban curtain the facade gently wraps the monolithic volume of the Opera, separating the spaces of artistic creation from the surrounding city. The undulating facade subdivides the Opera’s large facade areas into cascades of delicate creases, effectively breaking the scale of the iconic figure down to a tangible, a human scale.
As the creases flow down the facade they start to fold into the volume towards the lower part of the building, naturally forming either an entrance or covered seating area. These coves run all along the building’s perimeter and invite visitors to rest and enjoy the view.
The design features a 1900-seat auditorium in the opera, a 1000-seat multifunctional theater designed for performance art, theatrical plays and concerts as well as a 300-seat hall for conventions, conferences or small-scale productions.
Project: BOH, Busan Opera House
Location: Busan, South Korea
Type: Public Building, Opera House
Team: Mehlan, Opperer, Hugo, Minning
Client: Municipality of Busan
Status: intl. competition / first phase
Project Partners: -
Design: moh architects (http://www.moh-architects.com)