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In various geographical and physical contexts, this project mainly focuses on two phenomenological facts: the horizontal symmetry and monumentality created through the landscape of the horizon.


The most attractive phenomenon in Busan's North Port is the endless horizon created by Busan's sea and sky. Regardless of the observer's position, this horizontal phenomenon remains constant and provides a unique visual experience of horizontal symmetry between an object floating in the sea and its reflection. Therefore, we propose a new monument for the Busan Opera House through horizontal symmetry, a phenomenon that can only be seen around the sea.

First, the three main programs (Opera House, Multipurpose Theater and Conference Hall) will be placed on the site. The three main programs are built by a landscape strategy (which in principle builds the entire area of ​​the island) that shapes the terrain rather than a single terrain. This landscaping strategy also creates a situation that connects the daily experiences of ordinary people in the mountains. Landscaping strategies minimize the determined space and provide the public with more unexplained space that can evolve spontaneously in a variety of ways. In addition, the various experiences of ordinary people are doubled by using ramps of various sizes, such as mountain hiking.

The shape of the terrain created through horizontal symmetry provides a dramatic visual effect through the reflection of the upper surface of different heights. The reflective chrome façade with various curvatures allows you to see the sea, the sky and the scenery of Busan in various pictures. This unique visual effect evokes everyday phenomena that ordinary people can experience and creates a landmark that symbolizes Busan. The water space on the roof provides a variety of environmentally friendly maintenance techniques such as evaporative cooling, radiative hydrothermal cooling and rainwater collection and recycling. The waterfall, which falls along the newly created terrain on the island through a huge hole that can be mined, gives another symbolic meaning.


The main structure is composed of diagrid steel bolts connected to the compression ring, and the upper load is transmitted widely throughout the site with the lower podium structure. A space frame installed between the main structures maximizes structural efficiency to provide a long-span space for the lobby, exhibition space and conference facilities.

traffic and movement

All vehicle flow is lower than pedestrian level, providing a comfortable environment at podium level. Pedestrians on the podium can easily navigate the mountainous terrain with various spatial features, such as beaches, sea caves, and mountains. These pedestrian walkways connect all major public facilities, lobbies, bars, restaurants and open-air theatres, resulting in an integrated first public space. Each auditorium has a separate circulation system for general audiences, VIPs and services. Opera House visitors can take the passenger elevator up to the mezzanine level to enter the theatre, or take the grand staircase to the main floor.

On the mezzanine level, the public space for the opera house and multipurpose theater is integrated with a spiral exhibition space extending from the conference hall located in another mountain volume. This makes it possible to share a common space for each auditorium and blur the boundaries between each other for flexible use, which is the second important public space.

The water space on the roof can be accessed from three vertical circulation lines consisting of the opera house, multi-purpose theater and conference hall, and this becomes the third public space.

The design of the opera house auditorium is derived from the mountain phenomenon, which is the main concept, and is derived from the contour lines resembling the mountains of Busan. The interior space has main seats, vineyard seats, and VIP seats, and the audience experiences a curved space with different heights. The seamless transition between the ceiling and walls and the constellation-like interior lighting and chandeliers provide a unique atmosphere.


This project proposes a limited material to maximize the phenomenological effect of the horizon. The main exterior finishing materials are chrome and gray gravel. Along with these exterior finishes, the mist from the waterfalls in the outdoor theater area will blur the boundaries of the building's shape, allowing visitors to focus more on the effect rather than the shape of the building.

The water stored on the roof is circulated to utilize evaporative cooling and radiative hydrothermal cooling. During the rainy season, the water is stored and can be recycled. The reflective chrome roof cladding directs reflected sunlight deep into the outdoor space under the roof.

Busan Opera House Competition


site location

land area

building area

tendon lung rate

gross area

volume ratio

Kyu mo

highest height

number of parking spaces

old jo

exterior finish

for  also

Planning and basic design

detailed design

persimmon li

structural design

electrical equipment


landscape design

city  ball

place of order

4  Jin 

Areas of Busan Port (North Port) Coastal Pier, International Passenger Pier, Central Pier, Pier 1~4 within the jurisdiction of Jung-gu and Dong-gu, Busan Metropolitan City


About 28,726m^2

about 82%

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10th floor

about 30m

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Diagrid, space frame structure

chrome, gray gravel

Cultural and assembly facilities

MMKM associates Seohong Min + Ewha Womans University

Department of Architecture Professor Hyundae Kim + Ha-neul Kim

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