Busan Opera House

Busan, Korea
International Competition
July, 2011

Designers: Jackilin Hah Bloom, Florencia Pita
Project Team: Christina Anton, Chrystal Chum, Ida Hammarlund, Jason Menz

Busan is a city characterized by the harmony of its mountains, rivers and sea. We propose an opera house design that embodies this harmony and integrates it with the culture of music hall performance and city life. The project transforms the site from an industrial sea port into a dynamic local and international venue. The Busan Opera House is defined by its two sculptural music halls housed in separate buildings, but connected by a plinth building which they both nestle onto. Pedestrians approach the Busan Opera House by a grand set of steps to the top of the plinth or enter the plinth building at the level of the pedestrian bridge. At the top of the plinth is the main outdoor plaza level with the entrances to the two music hall buildings, sculptural benches and skylights to serve the an exhibition space below. The space between the two halls creates an upward vantage point from the pedestrian bridge to the ocean and acts as a visual gateway from the ocean to the city of Busan. Both music halls are fronted by tall vertical lobby spaces that lead directly into the theatres and cafés on the ocean side with views of the water and outdoor seating. The upper levels of the large music hall houses a convention / banquet space and a high-end restaurant space with outdoor balcony seating. On the ocean side of the Busan Opera House is outdoor seating and an outdoor stage allowing for more casual performances which can be seen by passersby on cruise ships and boats. The plinth building houses an exhibition space, additional back-of-house rooms for the music halls, administration offices, retail space as well as service entries and storage.