Busan Opera House Competition Entry
IwamotoScott’s entry for the Busan Opera House design competition titled ‘Trifold Madang’ is recognizable for its triangular voids, and consequently crystalline form.
From the architects: ‘Our design research uncovered an interesting spatio-historical aspect of the tradition of opera performance in Korea—that it took place in Madang, or public outdoor courtyard spaces. Our proposal organizes the given tripartite program of the Busan Opera House and its major vertical circulation around three triangular voids.’
The result is triangular shapes of different sizes arranged around a fourth central triangular void that houses the main lobby area. They call this center ‘Public Madang,’ in homage to the tradition of Opera in South Korea that took place outdoors. From IwamotoScott: ‘The building mass is lifted above the surrounding site, supported on three large programmed pedestals the space of the site flows beneath the building and up onto a landscaped podium that culminates in a mound at the Opera House’s center.’
Perforations in the ‘dynamically modulated structural skin’ resemble a variation of the Taeguk, South Korea’s national symbol. The building skin itself, then, becomes an iconic ornament to the surrounding North Port area: ‘establishing an international gateway and fostering maritime tourism for the new Maritime Culture District.’ The façade is made of a ‘diagrid’ structural skin system. The outer skin is an array of metal panels that adjust to environmental conditions, light, and view.
While the lobby is meant to draw people in, it also draws people up, by means of vertical circulation, and projects their attention out to the surroundings. Vertical circulation wraps around the voids. They lead up to and spill onto the roof terraces that provide views of the harbor, city, and mountains. As a result, the building draws people in, up, and then out.