Busan Opera House

Busan Opera House

sanzpont [arquitectura]

Busan, South Korea
Project Year
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sanzpont [arquitectura]


Busan Opera House

sanzpont [arquitectura] as Architects

Proposal made by the twin brothers of sanzpont [arquitectura] for Busan Opera House Competition. The concept of design is based on the philosophy of Korea, the balance of opposites, the Um-Yang. The fundamental idea is to create an iconic building that represents the culture in which it is immersed, to remind the native people where they come from in order to promote this philosophy to the outside world. Materializing this ancient philosophy in a cutting edge building connects the past with the present, giving long life to a culture that must be projected into the future. The vision of this building is the integration with its natural and urban environment, besides being spectacular, create public spaces and nature, respecting and helping the environment, a sustainable design that promote a city to the world.

SKIN INNOVATION : Energy Flow in Motion

The LED RGB lighting glows inside a double layer of Nebular Gradient Silkscreened ETFE. The printed texture gradients the opacity of the skin to control sunlight and lighting. By controlling the intensity and the RGB gradients of the LEDs, the skin creates Energy Flow in Motion. The skin represents the unity of opposites that compose the cosmos.

SUSTAINABLE DESIGN : Minimizing Carbon Footprint

The skin incorporates Photovoltaic Solar Panels capturing energy from the sun to generate and supply electricity from a clean and sustainable energy. The Extensive Green Roof helps to provide oxygen and ambient temperature regulation, providing a natural insulation skin on the top of the building. LED technology glow the skin of the building at night, creating art with light of low energy consumption emphasizing the fluid and singular skin. The Ventilated and Shading Façade reduces interior solar radiation by shading the internal curtain wall, and the diffuse solar light enters interior space through the gradient opacities. Rainwater is collected through the entire roof and stored to be used in bathroom equipment and landscape irrigation. Grey water is treated and re-used for landscape irrigation.

URBAN DESIGN : Maximizing Public Space

The building is designed to be passable inside and out, becomes an urban element deployed from the site as a bridge to its top as a balcony. The Green Roof extends the gardens and recreational areas of the city, increase the natural landscape and invites you to rise to the top of the building creating an Urban Park. The rising walkway increases pedestrian paths in the area and invites you to rise to the top while enjoying panoramic views, then go down and continue a site walk. The terraces at different levels generate scenic viewpoints. The green surface along the roof creates natural seating steps for the contemplation of aquatic and urban events. The exterior urban areas of the site are designed according to Korean Philosophy; the building is surrounded by 4 plazas: Ri/Fire, Gon/Earth, Gam/Water and Geon/Metal. The design also incorporates a Water Balcony as part of the pedestrian path; this element provides a little more interaction between users and their natural environment.

Busan's Orchid

solus4 as Design & Concept

Solus4 proposed a design solution for the Busan Opera House competition that symbolizes the elements of culture and history of Korea. Alfonso Lopez, lead designer describes the origins of the design: “A very special characteristic of Korean heritage is the linked uniformity of the art, history, culture and language. Much of this is based on the beauty and the pleasure that each element of nature represents to the individual and the community” Our team chose to incorporate into the basic building form the elegance of the brush and ink paintings of the Fourth Era of the Joseon Period. In these paintings the Korean artists chose natural elements according to an aesthetic sensibility. The concept of sohwa is the overlay of several elements of art and culture as when painting and calligraphy are joined. Emerging from these concepts we developed a simple expression of nature and peaceful elegance. The conceptualization of the opera house forms can be found in the following illustration. We were attracted to the free flowing lines that characterize the paintings of this type take on a very lyrical almost musical quality in the abstraction of the images above. We took the two dimensional basis and expanded this into the third dimension of building volume without any loss of the original element. This to us was the emerging of the sohwa principle that we wanted to try to express in this building. Our early concepts were then developed to integrate these shapes and elements into volumes that would not detract from the original intent and yet allow the incorporation of a state of the art voice performance facility coupled with the various ancillary uses. Staying within the traditional artistic parameters, we first placed the conceptual diagram on the site. Then, we diagramed the building shapes and the essential volumes. We used the original ink brush strokes to freely become building elements. By varying the connections to the earth and varying the edges and heights of roof shapes we found that we are able to provide strong volumetric edges that reinforce the freedom of the original art. It is also important to note the integration of sustainable systems for this project. We have integrated technology into this building which includes roof based solar collectors, sea water differential temperature cooling, tidal current generators and geothermal mass storage. The orchid is classified as one of the “graceful” plants and represents “refinement” in Confucian philosophy. As one of the symbols of the four seasons the orchid represents summer and the dissemination of its fragrance far and wide. The design of the Busan City Opera House symbolizes the hospitality and welcoming of the peoples who extend the unique flower in greeting. The design solution has its conceptual base in the cultural symbology of Korean history – in this case most specifically music, voice performance and art.

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