Opening of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s Cinema Center in Busan

• October 1, 2011

The Cinema Center in Busan, South Korea, designed by Wolf D. Prix/COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, the new home of the Busan Film Festival (BIFF), was inaugurated with a grand opening on 29 September 2011 in the presence of the president of South Korea. The innovative building combines open space, cultural program, entertainment, technology and architecture in a novel way. Over 800 guests, among them the Mayor of Busan, the cultural minister, the sports minister as well as film celebrities attended the ceremony.

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Image © City of Busan

The president of South Korea Lee Myung-bak emphasized in his opening speech the architectural achievement accomplished with the special feature of the Busan Cinema Center – the worldwide largest cantilivered roof.

Since the Busan Cinema Center is the greatest and the most beautiful one for exclusive cinema use, the Busan International Film festival will be top 3 film festival in the world.

Lee Myung-bak, the president of South Korea

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Busan Cinema Center, image © Woochang Choi Korea

As part of the festivities Wolf D. Prix, the co-founder of the Austrian architecture studio COOP HIMMELB(L)AU received as the first architect in South Korea the honorary citizenship of the city of Busan from the hands of Mayor Hur Nam-sik. The award is the highest recognition conferred by the city to personalities who have promoted Busan’s standing in Korea or abroad. Just a few days ahead of the start of the 16th Busan International Film Festival Wolf D. Prix in company with Hur Nam-sik will inaugurate the COOP HIMMELB(L)AU exhibition “Architecture is the Media and the Media is the Message” and give a lecture on “The Possibility of the Impossible“.

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Busan Cinema Center, image © Woochang Choi Korea

After winning the competition for this project in 2005 construction started in the same year. The roof’s ceiling surface is completely equipped with LED projectors which allows for unique visual spectacles highlighting the Busan Cinema Center. The dynamically illuminated ceiling will serve as the center’s communication platform with visitors and passers-by. A free span of 85 meters and a roof surface of 60 x 120 meters makes the roof the worldwide largest cantilevered roof. The complex comprises about 60.000 m2 of performance, event, gastronomy and administrative spaces and has a capacity of up to 6,800 visitors.

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Busan Cinema Center, image © Woochang Choi Korea

The upcoming events of the opening festivities:

04 October 2011: Opening of the COOP HIMMELB(L)AU exhibition “Architecture is the Media and the Media is the Message” at the Busan Design Center
05 October 2011: “The Possibility of the Impossible”, lecture by Wolf D. Prix at the Busan Design Center
06 October 2011: Opening of the 16th Busan International Film Festivals BIFF

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Busan Cinema Center, image © Woochang Choi Korea

+ Project description by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Busan Cinema Center / Busan International Film Festival, Busan, South Korea (2005 – 2011)

The basic concept of this project was the discourse about the overlapping of open and closed spaces and of public and private areas.

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Busan Cinema Center - Diagrams, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

While the movie theaters are located in a mountain-like building, the Center’s public space is shared between an outdoor cinema and a huge public space which is called Red Carpet Area – i.e. reception area.

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Busan Cinema Center, drawing © ISOCHROM.com, Vienna

The Red Carpet Area is actually three-dimensional: across a ramp which leads along a double cone the guests of honour reach the reception hall. Each of the two areas is overarched by a huge roof, one of them measuring 60 x 120 meters – the size of a soccer field – and cantilevering 85 meters.

The project, Wolf D. Prix / COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s first in South Korea, addresses the theme of the roof as an architectural element – a topic which COOP HIMMELB(L)AU has been concerned with for a long time. Already in the Renaissance and the Baroque era the roof is transformed into a cupola, thereby achieving a particular significance. But it was Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier who define the roof not anymore as a mere element of protection, but as a frame for the most diverse concepts. In Niemeyer’s house in Rio de Janeiro the roof is no longer following the floor plan, but is framing the view on the surroundings and nature. The roof of the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille of Le Corbusier is itself a landscape through its sculptural articulation.

Based on these ideas COOP HIMMELB(L)AU developed the roofs of the BMW Welt in Munich and of the Busan Cinema Center. The construction as a column-free roof covering a space comes closest to the idea of a “flying” roof, which is further differentiated by its three-dimensionally articulated ceiling and therefore not only a horizontal projection screen.

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Busan Cinema Center - Program, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Concept
The Busan Cinema Center – A multifunctional urban plaza
COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s design for the Busan Cinema Center and home of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) provides a new intersection between public space, cultural programs, entertainment, technology and architecture creating a vibrant landmark within the urban landscape.

LED saturated outdoor roof elements acting as a virtual sky connect building-objects and plaza-zones into a continuous, multifunctional public urban space.

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Busan Cinema Center, drawing © ISOCHROM.com, Vienna

Media, technology, entertainment and leisure are merged in an open-architecture of changeable and tailored event experiences. The result is a responsive and changing space of flows acting as an urban catalyst for cultural exchange and transformation.

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Busan Cinema Center - Level +01, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

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Busan Cinema Center - Level +03, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Project Description
The concept envisions an urban plaza of overlapping zones including an Urban Valley, a Red Carpet Zone, a Walk of Fame and the BIFF Canal Park. The urban plaza is formed by building and plaza elements sheltered by two large roofs that are enabled with computer programmed LED outdoor ceiling surfaces. The larger of the roofs includes a column-free cantilever of 85 meters over a multifunctional Memorial Court event plaza. The urban zones of the complex are formed by individual and recognizable building objects placed below the outdoor roofs. The building objects contain theater, indoor and outdoor cinemas, convention halls, office spaces, creative studios and dining areas in a mixture of sheltered and linked indoor and outdoor public spaces. The design of these spaces supports flexible, hybrid functionality that can be used both during the annual festival period and day-to-day use without interruption.

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Busan Cinema Center - Level +04, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

The urban zones defined by functional surfaces in plan are further articulated in a sectional dialogue between stone-clad “ground” forms of the Cinema Mountain and BIFF Hill, and the metal and LED clad “sky” elements of the roofs. The materiality of the building objects differentiates the spaces and articulates the architectural concept. Through their shape, placement and materiality, the various parts create a dynamic and informal tension between the ground and the roof.

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Busan Cinema Center - Section B-B, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Architecture and Cinema – the Main Roof
The dynamic LED lighting surface covering the undulating ceilings of the outdoor roof canopies gives the Busan Cinema Center its symbolic and representative iconographic feature. Artistic lighting programs tailored to events of the BIFF or the Municipality of Busan can be created by visual artists and displayed across the ceiling in full motion graphics, creating a lively urban situation at night, but also visible during the day.

Imbedded in the architecture the lighting surfaces serve as a communication platform for the content of the Busan Cinema Center. Light as art, which is at the very nature of cinema, creates a unique and memorable atmosphere for the public urban plaza and architecture of the BCC.

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Busan Cinema Center - Level +06, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

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Busan Cinema Center - Level +08, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Double Cone, Café and Roof Restaurant
The Double Cone is the symbolic landmark entrance element to the Busan Cinema Center and serves as the connective element between the Cinema Mountain and the BIFF Hill. Designed as a steel web drum on top of a series of radial concrete fin walls, the Double Cone also is the only vertical structural support for the large cantilevered roof acting as a large, singular column.
During day-to-day use, the ground level of the Double Cone contains a public café with outdoor seating, and the upper level links to a world-class restaurant, bar and lounge within the roof volume with views overlooking the APEC park and river beyond.

During the festival the Double Cone marks the Red Carpet Zone and VIP entrance to the “Busan Cinema Center”, and can be used as a pre-event space for VIP’s on the ground level, or as a pre-staging area for transfer to the Red Carpet procession to the outdoor cinema stage, or to the upper levels of the Cinema Mountain or BIFF Hill foyers via the red carpet spiralling ramp and bridges suspended from the roof.

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Busan Cinema Center - Section 1-1, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Cinema Mountain
The Cinema Mountain is a multifunctional building containing both a 1,000 seat multifunctional theater with fly-tower and full backstage support, and a three-screen multiplex comprised of a 400-seat and two 200-seat Cinemas. Separate entrances and foyers are provided for theater and cinema respectively, however the foyers and circulation are designed so that they can be combined depending on operational preferences.

Complete structural separation between the theater and the cinemas ensures optimal noise isolation for the theater space, which is designed as a first-class, flexible hall with seating on two levels and optimal sight lines and adjustable acoustics. A flexible proscenium type stage with side stages and fly-tower accommodates movable acoustical towers used to close down the stage volume for concerts and operatic theater, but can be easily moved for theater, musicals and other staged events. The stage includes a fore-stage lift that can provide additional seating, an orchestra pit or stage extension as preferred. Horizontally tracking curtains along the walls of the audience chamber can be hidden or deployed to adjust the acoustics of the space.

Urban Valley / Outdoor Cinema
The Urban Valley combines a flexible flat ground surface and large stepped tribunes of the BIFF Hill as seating for a 4,000 seat Outdoor Cinema. The Valley is sheltered by a large sculpted outdoor roof with an LED ceiling surface and is oriented towards a flexible stage and screen area on the outside of the Eastern façade of the Cinema Mountain. Accommodation for purpose built projection screens, stages, loudspeaker and lighting arrays are provided allowing for exterior performances to share the interior theater’s backstage facilities.

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Busan Cinema Center, drawing © ISOCHROM.com, Vienna

BIFF Hill
The BIFF Hill is a ground surface formation creating the tribune seating space of the outdoor cinema and accommodating the concourse, the convention hall, the BIFF-center, the BIFF-offices and the visual media center. Given the flexible organization of the ground plan, it can be easily adapted to the different requirements during festival and day-to-day usage.

Red Carpet Zone
During the BIFF festival, or for other special events, the Red Carpet Zone is created by a special drop-off and media-event processional entrance at the Double Cone entrance element. A red carpet can be extended from the Double Cone event space and photo position to the south through the park and along a pier. VIP’s can enter from limousines along the street edge, or arrive by boat from the pier. Various options are provided for the red carpet circulation from the Double Cone to the different event and performance spaces depending on the scenario preferred, including a vibrant spiralling ramp from the staging level of the event space to the VIP restaurant lounge of the upper roof or to the BIFF Hill and Cinema Mountain on upper levels of the foyers. During non-event periods the Red Carpet Zone acts as the symbolic entryway into the Busan Cinema Center complex.

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Busan Cinema Center - Structural integrety, drawing © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Memorial Court & Walk of Fame
The Walk of Fame contains the Memorial Court as a public plaza. Our proposal is to imbed sources in the ground surface projecting holographic images of the stars, directors, producers and the like who have been made a part of the Walk of Fame. Their avatars inhabit the memorial court as permanent residents; however their programs can be changed to show variable aspects of information over time or in relation to specific BIFF- events.

During non-event times the Memorial Court is used as a grand entryway to the Cinema Mountain and contains an outdoor dining area of the Double Cone Café overlooking the park and water beyond.

Due to the column-free sheltered roof above, the public plaza of the Memorial Court is a multi-functional event space that can be utilized for BIFF- or Busan City- events without interrupting the day-to-day activities of the Busan Cinema Center, or simultaneously with other events in the additional spaces.

BIFF Canal Park
The BIFF Canal Park is proposed as an extension of the open network of public programs into the planned riverside park, and as a linking element between the river and the cinema complex. A new pedestrian footbridge is proposed to connect the Busan Cinema Center site with the park across the Boulevard to the South connecting the Double Cone with the APEC Park. An additional outdoor event ‘bowl’ is proposed surrounded by canals that can provide public and private boat access to the project site. Space for a future extension of the Busan Cinema Center project is proposed as an island among the canals, further integrating the cultural functions of the Busan Cinema Center project with the surrounding public space and landscape environment.

+ Project credits / data

Team
Planning:
COOP HIMMELB(L)AU | http://www.coop-himmelblau.at/
Wolf D. Prix / W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH
Design Principal/ CEO: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner: Michael Volk
Project Architect: Günther Weber
Design Architects: Martin Oberascher, Jörg Hugo
Project Team: Sergio Gonzalez, Rob Henderson, Guthu Hallstein, Matt Kirkham, Veronica Janovska, Dieter Segerer, Markus Baumann, Jasmin Dieterle, Anja Sorger, Jana Kucerova, Jan Brosch, Ivana Jug
3D Design: Renate Weissenböck, Jan-Ruben Fischer
Model: Paul Hoszowski, Ernst Stockinger, Vincenzo Del Monaco, Johannes Spiesberger, Markus Erhardt, Hyoung Sub, Marc Werner
Photography: Markus Pillhofer
Competition Team: Victoria Coaloa, Rob Henderson, Paul Hoszowski, Jörg Hugo, Irakli Itoni, Alex Jackson, Matt Kirkham, Shannon Loew, Mona Marbach, Jens Mehlan, Tom Wiscombe, Burcu Bicer, Etienne Chanpenios, Monika Heliosch, Akvile Rimantaite
Renderings: Armin Hess/Isochrom

Client: Municipality of Busan:
Kim, Byung-Heui; Cho, Seung-Ho; Chai, Young-Eeon; Seo, Myoung Seok
User: Busan International Film Festival:
Choi, Yoonna; Oh, Seok-Geun; Kim, Dong-Ho
Competition Organizer: Busan International Architectural Culture Festival Organizing Committee: Yeonjegu Jungangro, Korea

Local Partner: Heerim Architects & Planners, Seoul / Korea:
Jeong, Young Kyoon; Eu, Sung Mo; Lee, Mog Woon; Kang, In Soo; Kim, SeoniI; Shin, Dong Young; Chang, Hyo Sup

Structural Engineering: B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH Frankfurt / Vienna, Germany/ Austria:
Klaus Bollinger, Jan Lüdders, Daniel Pfanner, Astrid Münzinger, Jürgen Asmussen
Jeon and Partner, Seoul / Korea:
Jeon, Bong-soo, Yoon, Heum-hak, Kim, Dong-gwan, Ms. Nam, Jung-hwa, Lee, Jang-hong, Ms. Han, Hye-hwa, Kim, Seung-a, Yi, Joon

Mechanical, Electrical Engineering: Arup, Berlin, Germany:
Bryan Cody, Till Pasquai, Tobias Burkhart, Akif Berkyuerek

Lighting Design: Har Hollands, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Wind Studies: Wacker Ingenieure, Birkenfeld / Germany:
Jürgen Wacker, Michael Buselmeier

Façade Consulting to CHBL: Face of Building, Oberpullendorf / Austria:
Johannes Stimakovits, Harald Weidinger

Theater Consulting to CHBL: Artec, New York / USA:
Tateo Nakajima, Ed Arenius, Ted Pyper

Chronology
Competition: (1st Prize) 11/2005
Start of Planning: 01/2007
Start of Construction: 10/2008
Completion: 10/2011
Scheduled Opening: 29/09/2011

Project Data
Site Area: 32,100 m²
Net Floor Area (interior spaces): 51,067 m²
Gross Floor Area (interior spaces): 57,981 m²
Built-up Area: 10,005 m² (without roofs)
Cubage: 349,708 m³

Building Costs: about EUR 100 Mio
Costs per m²: 1.725 EUR/m² (excl. exterior spaces)

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Category: Architecture, Culture, Events/News, Selected

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