Busan Cinema Center

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

Coop Himmelb(l)au’s design for the Busan Cinema Center, which serves, among other things, as the site of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), represents a new combination of culture, entertainment, technology, and architecture with a public space. The concept envisions an urban center with superimposed areas: the Urban Valley, the Red Carpet Zone, the Walk of Fame, the Memorial Court, and the BIFF Canal Park. The buildings house theaters, cinemas, a conference center, offices, production studios, and restaurants, whose spatial boundaries flow into one another in a mixture of protected interior spaces and outdoor spaces, the largest of which also functions as an outdoor cinema with seating for 4,000 people.
This open urban center, which is framed by the opaque functional areas on the plaza, is spanned by two large roofs fitted with computer-controlled LEDs. The larger of the two roofs projects a column-free, 85-meter cantilever over the Memorial Court. A multifunctional events center in the form of a double cone serves as a symbolic structure for the entrance. Designed as a steel-lattice shell sitting on spanned concrete slabs, it represents the only vertical supporting structure for the large projecting roof.

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. 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."

Courtesy and imagery: Coop Himmelblau and Duccio Malagamba
Date: 2005-2012 (engagement 2007-2008)
Location: Busan, South Korea
Site: 32100 m^2
GFA: 58000 m^2