Design is
Location. Busan, South Korea
Date. 2011
Client. Busan Metropolitan City
Status. Competition
Size. 38,740 sqm

Project Description.

Anisotropia, the design for the new Busan Opera House, is based on Klavierstück I, a composition for piano by Christoph Klemmt. It is based on a twelve tone row which is repeated and altered by the different voices, in order to create complex rhythmic patterns.

Anisotropia becomes the physical manifestation of Klavierstück I, a frozen piece of music. The design for the Busan Opera House is based on a simple strip morphology instead of a twelve tone row, which creates the facade, structure and rhythm within itself, it is repetition happening in space instead of time. Layers of the strips form the façade structure, and the shifting and alteration of these patterns results in the formation of complex architectural rhythms which are used to control the light, view and shading properties of the façade.

Klavierstück I uses a twelve tone row which starts with the lowest key of the piano. After its first cycle, the row gets repeated, though shifted up by a halftone. However, rather than translating up every tone by a halftone, only the lowest tone of the row is translated up by one octave. Like this, the row remains the same, but its range has been shifted. In the next repetition, this shift continues, but the range now also gets reduced in its size: The lowest tone gets translated up by one octave again, and the second lowest tone gets dropped out, so that only the remaining eleven tones of the row are played. Instead of the twelve tones, the range now only covers eleven tones, and also its length is reduced accordingly.

The proposed façade structure becomes the physical manifestation of Klavierstück I. Instead of on a twelve tone row, it is based on a strip morphology made from curved steel sections that creates the facade, structure and rhythm within itself. The repetition of the lamella happens in space, instead of the repetition in time of the twelve tone row. Parallel layers of the strips form the façade structure, and the alteration of its patterns results in architectural rhythms which are used to control the light, view and shading properties of the façade.

The façade structure starts to flow from the sea, where its different layers are aligned and appear to be one. Then slowly the layers start to repeat at different intervals, resulting in a shift between them, the alignment breaks up, and a varied field of the façade rhythms begins to emerge. The façade structure is altered in the length of its repetition, but also the orientation and the depth of the extrusions are manipulated in order to control the view and light, depending on the programmatic requirements on the inside of the building.

The flow of the façade layers is influenced by the programs which they enclose. As an effect of this the layers split up at certain points, and after forming a coherent system with the overlay of its rhythms, the individual layers separate and their individual patterns become visible.

Design Team:
Ho-Ping Hsia, Christoph Klemmt, Rolando Rodriguez-Leal, Rajat Sodhi, Natalia Wrzask, Christine Wu

Structural Engineers:
Arups Structural Engeneers, London

Theatre Consultants:
Arups Theatre Consultants, Hong Kong