Busan Cinema Center
Coop Himmelb(l)au

September 24, 2012 /

Busan, South Korea

Photo © Duccio Malagamba

The 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.

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.

Photo © Duccio Malagamba

Photo © Duccio Malagamba

busan_cinema_center_4.jpgPhoto © Duccio Malagamba

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.

Photo © Duccio Malagamba

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.

Photo © Duccio Malagamba

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.

Photo © Duccio Malagamba
Photo © Duccio Malagamba
Photo © Duccio Malagamba
Photo © Duccio Malagamba

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.

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 facade of the Cinema Mountain.

Photo © Duccio Malagamba
Photo © Duccio Malagamba
Photo © Duccio Malagamba
Photo © Duccio Malagamba

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.

Photo © Duccio Malagamba

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.

Sketch courtesy Coop Himmelb(l)au
busan_cinema_center_17.jpgDrawing courtesy Coop Himmelb(l)au
Plan Level +01

busan_cinema_center_18.jpgDrawing courtesy Coop Himmelb(l)au
Plan Level +03

busan_cinema_center_19.jpgDrawing courtesy Coop Himmelb(l)au
Plan Level +04

busan_cinema_center_20.jpgDrawing courtesy Coop Himmelb(l)au
Plan Level +06

Drawing courtesy Coop Himmelb(l)au
Plan Level +08

Drawing courtesy Coop Himmelb(l)au

Drawing courtesy Coop Himmelb(l)au

Drawing courtesy Coop Himmelb(l)au

Facts about Busan Cinema Center

Site Area:

32,100 m²
Gross Floor Area (interior spaces): 57,981 m²
Built-up Area: 10,005 m² (without roofs)

Coop Himmelb(l)au
Wolf D. Prix / W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH

Design Principal:

Wolf D. Prix

Project Partner:

Michael Volk

Project Architect:

Günther Weber

Design Architects:

Martin Oberascher
Jörg Hugo

Local Partner:

Heerim Architects & Planners

Structural Engineering:

B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger and Grohmann GmbH
Jeon and Partner

Mechanical, Electrical Engineering:


Lighting Design:

Har Hollands

Wind Studies:

Wacker Ingenieure

Facade Consulting to CHBL:


Theater Consulting to CHBL:


Photographed by Duccio Malagamba


Municipality of Busan

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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