Busan Opera House

"An extended landscape for the city"

Our project for the Busan opera house is an interior/exterior plaza for the arts, in which the public may engage with various art programs during the daytime and nighttime, in settings ranging from an opera to a public plaza. The design is an extended landscape intended for display and for being displayed, for engaging with the arts. Much of the scheme is a sloped ground, designed for seating and viewing. The interlocking of the urban fabric, the land, and the water in a single design creates a stage for the city, as much as it re-frames the city as stage. Public life, high-arts performances and exhibitions, as well as the beauty of Busan’s natural surrounding are equally on display. The exterior strategies for the design are continued inside, where the scheme promotes a continuity of the landscape in the public plaza beneath and surrounding the theaters and the opera. The public realm ‘folds up’ as a large landscape-like staircase in order to reach the large, suspended auditorium spaces inside and the viewing terrace on the roof outside.

The design enables the public to participate in cultural events in and nearby the new Busan Performing Arts Center. The building’s public space is accessible throughout the day and night. The design of interior and exterior public space is suggested as a space and place of performances, of enactments informed through relationships as they unfold in time. The design is structured to stimulate and care for relationships, for the spaces in between. Upon arrival, different paths disclose the sites of performance on the sloped architectural-landscape inside and outside the building. The stages that may hereby be encountered are both fixed and temporal, as the performances energize them with life. Changing events, pattern’s of life’s activity, are anticipated rather than determined through the design.

Located on a peninsula in direct proximity to the Busan Port, and the city center of Busan, our project aims to offer to Busan citizens a public interior and exterior space that is equally engaging the water as well as the park and the city scape. The opera is designed as a landmark, in the literal sense of the word, it is marking the land, marking the new cultural scape of Busan at the same time it is an icon for Busan. The overall structure of the opera is designed as a large habitable ground that slowly ramps from the water and the park up to become an architecture that allows the viewer to link to both the water and the city. The building becomes a stage located in the water, as it also stages the beautiful bay, the ocean on one side and the lively city and its skyline on the other side.

Project Title: "Busan Opera House"
Location: Busan, South Korea
Design year: 2011
Type: Competition entry
Client/ Organisation: Busan Metropolitan City

 Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects   Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects 
 Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects   Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects 
 Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects   Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects 
 Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects   Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects 
 Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects   Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects 
 Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects   Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects 
 Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects   Busan Opera Rocker Lange Architects 


Rocker-Lange Architects


Ingeborg M. Rocker
Christian J. Lange

Cambridge, MA, London, England, Hong Kong


2015 100 Van Ness, Urban Adapter, sculpture bench
2015 Shanghai Lilong Tower Urbanism, Towards an Urbanism of Parametric Preservation
2014 The Ideal City of Refigured Civic Space, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale, Hong Kong
2013 Blend-es-Scape, Beijing, China, A pavilion for the Fifth International Architectural Biennale Beijing 2013
2013 Taichung Cultural Centre, Taichung, Taiwan
2012 Wallhouse, Cambridge, USA,GSD Pavilion 2012 2012 Density & Openess Reviseted: Recoding Building Bulk in Hong Kong, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale, Hong Kong
2011 Busan Opera House, Busan, South Korea
2010 Serial Architecture Systems of Multiplicities, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2010 Tokyo Fashion Museum, Omotesando, Tokyo, Japan
2009 Urban Adapter, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale, Hong Kong
2009 Catalytic Connector - Museum of Natural History, Copenhagen, Denmark
2009 Living Bridge London Bridge, London, UK
2008 Villa Inside|Out Outside|In, The Ordos 100, Mongolia, China
2007 Domicile Heldt, Eckernfoerde, Germany
2006 Villa Risse, Krefeld, Germany

Product Design

2010 Zhuhai Lounge
2009 SP-Table_01
2009 SP-Table_02
2009 Urban Adapter


2010 Parametric Structures, Spring Seminar, The University of Hong Kong, Department of Architecture
2009 On the Brink, Spring Seminar, Harvard University, GSD
Versioning: Architecture as Series
Cross scalar and functional scaling: adaptive facades
Algorithmically controlled surfaces


2008 Versioning: Architecture as Series?
2008 Berechneter Zufall: Max Benses Informationsaesthetik
2008 Architectures of the Digital Realm: Experimentation by Peter Eisenman / Frank O. Gehry
2006 Digital Revolution: Feedback between Architecture, Technology, and Culture
2006 Calculus-Based Form: An Interview with Greg Lynn
2006 When Code Matters, in Programming Cultures: Design, Science, and Software
2005 Re-Coded: Studio Rocker
2004 Das Denkmal fuer die Ermordeten Juden Europas in Berlin: Erinnern, Bewahren, Hinterfragen
2004 Virtuale: Il Senza Forma in Architettura: Di Ingeborg Rocker
2003 Fugitive Realities: Konrad Fiedler
2002 Versioning Informing Architectures, in: Versioning: Evolutionary Techniques in Architecture
1998 Memorizing, Maintaining, Questioning: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Peter Eisenman
1998 The Virtual: The Unform in Architecture