PROJECT: DELISABATINI architetti
NAME: International Ideas Competition for Busan Opera House
LOCATION: BUSAN (SOUTH KOREA)
CLIENT: Municipality Of Busan (Public)
COLLABORATORS: Arch. V. Pizzuto, F. Coppola, F. Ominetti
Busan is a city of sea with a strong presence of natural elements, such as the sea, rivers and the near mountains. Its landscape is rapidly changing and the new urban and land project is already changing the image of the bay and the line of the cost.
The artificial island, with the undefined form, over which will rise the new opera house, is a flat artificial land that complete a part of the bay. Developed by the work of the man and not by the earth's tectonic, is a land with no history that waits to be colonized.
The project fits in this contest within a recognizable definable geometric figure, a 198x79 meters rectangle orthogonally oriented towards the main bridge which grants access and points towards the open sea, reaching its waters with a monumental stair. The project is rigorous and conceived with parallel functional and structural bands; it is articulated by alternated rhythm of the structural place of the hollow septum, inhabited bands, which encompass all the minor functions, services, vertical connections, allowing to the major functions to fill the wider space in-between.
This spatial system organized by parallel functional bands, has its origins in the concept of the section as the main project tool.
The suggestion transmitted by the section which represented the ancient theaters like majestic opera of Paris, shows a surprising spatial volume of the building, with an alternation of huge representative spaces and narrow spaces of access, with their real proportional scale, which cannot be read by a normal and subjective reading of the building. This approach also reveals the most secluded and hollow spaces. The monumental stair system of the Paris Opera House, enclosed within the foyer and the auditorium forces the users to turn around it. This system is interpreted in our project by the complex system auditorium/atrium/foyer that is organized and shaped around the engraving, which is the incision of the entrance.
In our project the section, better than a plan, describes the succession of spaces in their proportional scales underlining the alternation of narrow and wide, small spaces, which ensures huge spatial experiences.
The section also underlines that parallel world hidden to the users, which is represented by the multitude of technical and structural spaces of service that side the representative spaces and characterize this complex functional organism.
The opera house project is an isolated element rising from the horizontal landscape of the water.
The project stands alone in the new urban landscape rising high in the skyline of the new skyscrapers and the surrounding mountains, as a huge solid stereometric and mono-scale mass which even a great distance shows a distinctive feature.
The main entrance of the opera house is signed by the clear opening running deep through its flank from side to side; it is aligned to the second pedestrian bridge, allowing a reconnection with the surrounding.
The entrance faces the city, in an area enclosed between the two theaters, through a narrow passage that runs the building side to side, enclosed by tall and steep walls, it frames the sea and the sky, it’s open on both sides reconnecting the view of the atrium and foyer.
This space is an intentional vacuum, it takes the place of one band where all the functional and structural services are usually compressed. This clear cut is the spatial mechanism that organized two of the major and most representative spaces of the entire project, the atrium and the foyer.
The user’s access under the huge and massive wall discovers the colossal and surprising space of the atrium, within which the stair paths cross and climb the wall through the empty space with prospective views in the direction of the foyer.
The foyer within a huge full height space reconnects the three different levels. The ground floor that is the atrium of the second theater has great diagonal perspective view.
Those two spaces are animated by the mass of people moving in all directions, from the auditorium to the foyer passing through the tunnels at different heights. The views are countless and wholly unexpected.
This engrave running on the flank of the building represents a physical but not a spatial interruption of the system. The building in fact does not appear cut in two.
This void space becomes part of the building, and is an extremely tense space as it is compressed by the two huge masses that almost touch each other. This void distinguish the two different types of theater, the historical space of the opera and flexible space of the Gemini theater that has countless spatial possibilities, however they are clearly part of the same building.
The Atrium is a huge Unitarian and absolute space thirteen floors height and as wide as the entire building, it can be access from the ground floor that has a long and low cut at the base of the structure. It is illuminated only by a zenithal light and it opens to the user with an impressive height showing the monumental frontal wall, which is so high that cannot be seen in its entirety. On this wall is the great solid stair which leads to the auditorium. The stair climbs the wall reaching the light. Everything is enclosed within tall and vibrant wall. The space is entirely open to the sky giving almost bidimensional effect dominated by the steep heights. It is ornate by the translucid alabaster elements that sign the succession of the floors, and give an idea of the dimension of the auditorium, that however remains hidden. A comfortable solid stair on the short side grants separated access to the conference hall. The great void and the stairs that run through it lead the user to a very tense space.
The spatial relevance of this stair, which is the most impressive space of the project, finds its origin in the growth of importance of the role of the stair from the XIIX to the XIX century, leading to a dimension even superior of the auditorium itself.
The big auditorium, hidden in the mass of the building, reveals itself unexpectedly to the user whom reaches it through the impressive experience of the atrium and the following compressed spaces. It does not reveals its shape from the outside has it often happens in recent projects; it is a huge space recognizable only from its suggestive inside.
The auditorium of the opera reproduces, in size and the characteristic horseshoe shape the most ancient Italian theater still in activity: the San Carlo of Naples.
It is redundant to stress that this characteristic shape that distinguish the ancient Italian theater, in its different variants, it is indissolubly part of the genetic memory of this form of play, which in Italy has found his genesis and maximum expression.
Has been made the choice to reproduce the system of the boxes, disposed on six floors and a gallery, around the huge void of the auditorium, which gives the unforgettable perceptive spatial and acoustic experience that the opera represents.
This typology differently from the current system in use in the actual theater express a more urban spatial character, where around a big unitarian void, as around a square, take place the representation of the city of the audit that becomes itself part of the show.
Formerly the boxes were property of important families, which furnish it by their taste, and use to spend inside the time before the show, eating, drinking and discussing as in a private living room with an opera view. The auditorium instead, without seating, hosted the people of the lower class that watched the show standing. Nowadays that world has disappeared however the quality and that appeal of that spatial system remains.
The Opera has a maximum capacity of 2376 seats with the orchestral space at its maximum extension. The seats are divided in 736 seats in the auditorium and 1640 in the six floor of boxes and gallery. The auditorium give the possibility to adjust the size of the orchestral space to fit the different needs, by removing the firsts row of seats, which can be stored underneath the orchestral space.
As usual in the case of the orchestra being situated over the stage, acoustic needs impose the use of a wall situated behind it which avoids the dispersion of the sounds towards the vast space of the stage tower.
A rapid exit of the audit is ensured by the four access of the auditorium and by the annular corridors annexed to the boxes. Elevators ensure immediate access to all the floors even for the disable.
The lavatories can be found at each floor and can rapidly satisfy the crowd.
The dimensions of the auditorium are: 31 meters long, 24 meters wide, with a proscenium of 20 meters. The auditorium in enclosed in a rectangle which defines its functional band.
Inside the large space coexists, overlapped on different levels, the foyers of the two theaters, visually connected by common views, but functionally independent.
The foyer of the Opera is spread over three higher levels, which are linked by an easy staircase, all facing the same space, accessible through the hall, with stairs and walkways, that cuts the great void of the vestibule.
On the ground floor under the Opera foyer, the Twin Theater foyer is characterized by three big plinths, empty inside, that host the tickets office and the bar.
The roof is a big empty slab, crossed by three splayed openings, which close the volume remaining detached from the facilities strip, allowing the opening of a slot for the light along the entire wall.
The scene mechanism is extremely powerful, the stage, with the enormous space of the fly tower 48m high, with two floors and galleries of trellis, with its stage pit (under the stage) of 24m, an underground construction, which reaches 17m, and ample backstage, stands as one of the largest in the world.
The system of compensating tanks of the type already mounted at the Teatro alla Scala, the gantry crane to the sides of the stage, the direct connection to the adjoining laboratory in which the sets are made, offers enormous potential for theatrical productions even for the most monumental installation.
Stage and fly tower
Large storage areas occupy the area under this sector.
At the pit orchestra, a deep pit under the stage permit to stow the rows of seats that are installed or
removed depending on the stage and orchestra needs due to the possibility of double or reduced maximum extension of the pit. The orchestra pit is directly related to pathways of service to rehearsal rooms and dressing rooms above the stage at the tower sides.
All spaces connected with the stage are linked, through high altitude routes, to the facilities strips and stairwells that widely serve the building.
Under the area of the stage are located all the staff access, stairwells and elevators connect the facilities strips where are the dressing rooms, cafeteria and offices and the vast amount of features of this complex theatrical machine.
Around the volume of the fly tower are reunited the facilities strips and all the other features as offices and dressing room. On the two sides are staked the four big rehearsal rooms (general, choir, orchestra, ballet), reaching, at the top, the maximum height of the building.
Makeup, wigs, costume room, cafeteria, etc., are stacked and served between the strips, next to the backstage.
All of these services which provide for the operation of the machine are immediately behind the theater stage and quickly connected with.
The indication to avoid excavation was followed as far as possible, compatibly with the needs of the grandiose stage mechanism proposed.
Theatre Gemini: twin hall
The theater occupies the entire band, 21 meters wide, between the museum and the volume of the foyer.
For maximum flexibility, it was decided to merge the two smaller theaters, the huge space obtained is extremely versatile: it can accommodate from concerts to experimental theater. It can function as two separate and distinct theaters with different and variables capacities (1233 and 493 seats) or as a single place of spectacle (1726 seats) but with many design options.
The fly tower, locate in an asymmetric and intermediate position, serves the needs of the stage in the position where both halls with their capacities are required.
The mechanical system that allows vertical movement of the stage floor and audience permit all kind of configuration. It is conceived divided in 90 cm telescopic strips that will adopt all the needed configuration: two hall with the facing audiences, a single hall with two audiences, or a unique hall with a
bigger scene following the most different theatrical necessities until the possibility to open directly to the ocean landscape opening the hall wall. Is also conceived the regulation on a single plan or with a variable rhythm as sinusoidal, as requested by the theatrical needs, with different possibility for the audience organization: traditional, lateral, in opposition, in the center, to the edges, on bands or totally free.
The bigger hall with 1233 seats is characterized by an annular balconies that runs along the entire perimeter.
Under the theatre are located all the technical rooms where the moving engine for the stage and the audience are located. In the huge structural equipment of the roof are arranged all the necessary technical facilities, equipment, storage and rehearsal rooms.