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Busan Opera House
November 22nd, 2011

Busan Opera House Competition
Summer 2011

Location: Busan, South Korea

Principals in Charge: R. el-Khoury and R. Levit

Team: Nariman Mousavi, Lindsay Hochman, Zachariah Glennon, Faisel Bashir, Clarissa Nam

The building is a two-headed creature with faces—the theatres—pointing in opposite directions and bowels—backstage and support infrastructure—shared in the mid-section. This organization permits an efficient sharing of amenities and services while preserving the distinct identity of each theatre as a separate destination and potentially as a separate institution. The building resists simple demarcation between interior and exterior. On every side the envelope folds in or out to expose arenas in which theatrical spectacle merges with pubic appearance and participation. While traditional opera types treat the hall as an inner sanctum or kernel that is highly contrasted with the encasing shell our preference if for treating the inner chamber as a differentiated intensification of the building’s form and tectonic logic. The opera’s Great Hall fully expresses, so to speak, the building’s latent DNA. Here part is organically related to whole and the auditorium lends it characteristic makeup to the entire building. The vortex-courtyard and the public Belvedere are other instances where thresholds are recast into seamless continuums to mix publics and blur boundaries. For instance, one may enter the building to occupy the vortex without crossing a threshold and take a public elevator directly to the restaurant and Belvedere.