August 2011 / Competition: Busan International Opera House Competition

Busan International Opera House Competition
WAVE-scape. Collaboration work with Margen-Lab (Daniel Ibañez & Rodrigo Rubio), Spain, 2011.

"The problem of architecture is not to be seen from outside, nor to live inside. It is in the dialectical relationship interior-exterior, at the scale of urbanism (houses-streets) and at the scale of the house (interior-exterior)."  – Guy Debord, 1959

WAVE-scape embodies the multiple processes and characters of Busan waterfront that change through space and time. The at macro scale, surrounding landscapes of the site are amplified. Adjacent water, land, and wind become the base element in forming the Busan Opera House. The waves of the waterfront, hilly topography of the bay, prevailing northwesterly winds in winter, and southerly in summer are translated into waves that clash and merge into form the exterior of the opera house. The metaphorical wave of people, art and culture, and leisure on the waterfront adds richness to this macro scale concept.

Wavelengths of different sources have different amplitudes and vibration. When these theoretical waves meet they create interferences, sometimes clashing, sometimes amplifying certain waves. The Busan opera house is an expression of this dialectical processes we want to encourage, where new creative ideas and innovations in art and culture emerge.

Programmatically the conceptual waves are translated into volumes that contain the two main volumes of the opera house. Spectator’s experience of the architecture and the surrounding is heightened through the experiential layers of the circulation, sightlines, weaving of the highs and low points, and the interstitial spaces within it.

At the meso scale, the newly created “hills” of the WAVE-scape become a constructed ecology, one that contains the traditional dynamics of performance and spectatorship within, but simultaneously becoming a public landscape that engages the urban fabric and the waterfront.

At the micro scale, the landscape embraces the ephemeral flux, changes, events, happenings, performances, and participation. While these processes are taking place, the thresholds between the container, contained, and contents interact with the temporalities of the exterior. This attempts to blur the boundary between performer and the spectator. The wrapping and weaving external circulation is an expression of these desires.

The basic framework of the WAVE-scape is created by the macro elements. Nevertheless, the elements of these raw materials (meso and micro scales) are left open to the public for their interpretations. These spaces can be recombined in the way the public wishes, creating their own interpretations, breaking away from traditional representation of performance art.
This overall process that occur within and outside the Opera House becomes a catalyst for perpetual change that communicates with different public groups at a personal level. The form becomes an expression and framework for the dynamic changing trends, functions, tastes, and cultures. Ultimately, WAVE-scape becomes a new form of social communication beyond a place and destination.

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Updated April 2024.  
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