Location: Busan, South Korea
Type: Performing Arts Center, Competition
Structure: Concrete, Steel
Team: Thomas Heltzel, Luis Felipe Paris, Jonathan Alexander, Chrysokona Mavrou, Laura Carter
The building proposal for an Opera House in Busan, Korea began with a photo image of the interior of the La Scala Opera house in Milan, Italy. The traditional opera auditorium is structured around the opera box. These boxes are individual objects which create a semi-private chamber for viewing the performance, typically arranged to establish a hierarchy of layered tiers. In the proposal for Busan, each box is given independence and freely shifted vertically to form an interior closer to a foam of bubbles than a layering of cake. The exploration of this idea began with the manipulation of a photo image of La Scala to redistribute these boxes. This initial provocation leads very quickly to problems with other primary aspects of the Opera program, namely, the pre-performance foyers and the circulation sequence. If there are dozens of levels of boxes, how can these be brought together in a functioning circulation sequence? The building resolves this through the development of bridges the lead from each individual box to one of four main foyers. These bridges move three-dimensionally as conjoined twins till they reach their required foyer. This combination of boxes and bridges allows the auditorium to collect into an aggregated object floating inside the volume of the larger opera house. The opera boxes are actually the terminus of an expanded idea of the performance of the circulation sequence that begins outside with the site. Four arcades encircle four programmatic gardens that function with different levels of formality as exterior performance spaces. These garden courts are also the only visual access allowed from the exterior to the interior through the fenestration of a patterned "soft" skin. From the exterior, there are two major material differences. One, rusted and fenestrated; the other, a hard shell like metal panel system that closes the figure of the building into a singular object when seen from a distance. The play between these two very different material qualities, and the manner in which they are reveal both exterior and interior is an attempt to engage questions of estrangement of aperture, material, and surface tectonics.
On the Busan Opera House Drawings Click Here.
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