Opéra de Busan, Corée du Sud


Islands have a special quality, that of being a world of their own. Their surrounded nature gives them both a feeling of intimacy and immensity. On one hand a feeling of seclusion, on the other a feeling of openness. The water becomes the threshold through which one can escape everyday life to engage oneself in an entirely different world. 

Busan Opera House echoes this unique island condition. Here we imagined an island experience where everything, from water to building, is in contrast with the usual city landscape. It resembles more abstract matter carved from underneath. It stands there, anchored to the shore, like a century old wreckage, darkened by time, creating complex and unexpected relationships with the water, the island, the city and it’s inhabitants. 

From the city streets, we see a large building reaching well above the canopies of the trees. The angled lines of the roof contrast crisply against the day sky, but at night, the dark metal skin of the building almost blends into the background. The light escaping through the irregular window pattern of the building skin create a fine constellation of glowing points, shimmering in the night, creating an ephemeral atmosphere. Facing outwards towards the surrounding city, scrolling illuminated LED billboards announce the Opera house’s program and special events.


Date : 2011
Surface : 60 000 m2
Client : Busan Opera House
Budget : 400 M$ US
Phase : Concours
Images : Pelletier de Fontenay