ModernOctopus has previously featured the OODA entry to the Busan Opera House contest for Busan, South Korea. It is now time to showcase the proposal submitted by Barcelona-based practice Sanzpont [Arquitectura], a fluid shape based on the concept of attracting opposites and the culture of maximized outdoor spaces. The eight-story structure suggests infinity and a perfect blend between contemporary design trends and traditional South Korean philosophy. The main concept behind the project is the balance of opposites, Um-Yang. “The fundamental idea is to create an iconic building that represents the culture in which it is immersed, to remind the native people where they come from, in order to promote this philosophy to the outside world. Materializing this ancient philosophy in a cutting edge building connects the past with the present, giving long life to a culture that must be projected into the future.” The structure is covered in a texture called Nebular Gradient Silkscreened ETFE, with recessed RGB lighting inside, patterned in black and white on the inside, versus red and blue on the inside. The opacity of the skin and intensity of the LED gradients can be controlled, in order to achieve an effect of energy flow in motion. The design team heavily stressed sustainable design techniques and strove to minimize the building’s carbon footprint. The outward skin incorporates photovoltaic solar panels, there is a garden on the roof, the design of the skin reduces interior solar radiation and only allows diffused solar light to permeate the interior. Rainwater is harvested through the roof and is used for the bathrooms and irrigation of the garden and grey water is recycled.
Public space around the building is maximized through the introduction of various functional and design elements, such as an integrated pedestrian bridge, which facilitates passages from the inside out and whose design is reminiscent of a bridge that gradually morphs into a balcony. There is an urban park atop the building, calling visitors to relish in the extraordinary view up there. The panoramic walkway invites one to fully explore the site and the scenic viewpoints of the terrace. The building is ‘cornered’ by plazas named after the four elements which govern Korean philosophy – Ri/Fire, Gon/Earth, Gam/Water and Geon/Metal. The final attraction element is the water balcony, part of the pedestrian path, which facilitates further interaction between the users of the building and its natural environment.