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Born in La Jolla, California in 1970, Tom Wiscombe is a licensed architect living in Los Angeles. He is founder and principal of Tom Wiscombe Design, an internationally recognized design office operating at the forefront of contemporary design.

28MAR 2012

BUSAN OPERA HOUSE / Tom Wiscombe Design

Posted in Architecture - Cultural by Tom Wiscombe

This opera is a synthetic mountain.

© Tom Wiscombe Design
It stands in stark contrast to the horizontality of the Marine Culture District, and relates to the mountainous topography that bounds and characterizes the city. It can be seen from all over the bay as a strong silhouette.

© Tom Wiscombe Design
The mountain contains two nested volumes which house the 2,000 seat Opera and the 1,300 seat Multifunctional Theater. The outer shell of the mountain loosely contains these volumes, sometimes fusing with them, sometimes vaulting over them, and sometimes dissolving away to create views and passageways through.

© Tom Wiscombe Design
Openings in the mountain are positioned towards views of the city and the waterfront. The manifold skin of the mountain varies from razor-thin and roof-like to extremely thick and spatial, where it is packed with public amenities and private support functions.

© Tom Wiscombe Design
Elevator cores and other circulation elements also inhabit these poché spaces rather than being expressed. The double-layer mass is therefore an organizational device rather than simply a formal expression.

© Tom Wiscombe Design
The figural apertures in the mountain create deep space, drawing in visitors, and creating high-contrast lighting situations. An intricate pattern of architectural tracery weaves these deep apertures together with a system of windows, or penetrations in the manifold.

© Tom Wiscombe Design
The effect is one of mysterious irresolution between mass and flatness. The cavernous space inside the mountain operates as a microclimate.

© Tom Wiscombe Design
It is outdoors but feels enclosed; the 'roof' and 'walls' of the outer shell create spatial boundary, but also act as a sun shade and wind and rain break. The extreme environmental conditions of Busan's hot summer days and monsoon rains are mediated to create a comfortable, protected urban space all year long.

© Tom Wiscombe Design
The mountain sits on top of a plinth. The plinth is not fused with the mountain in order to retain the independence of ground and building-object.

© Tom Wiscombe Design
It houses support functions such as parking, delivery, staging, storage, and technical rooms..

© 10


Design team:
Design Team:Tom Wiscombe
David Stamatis
Robbie Eleazer
Mitch Rocheleau
Fernando Herrera
Jason Orbe-Smith
Cindy Lin
Klarke Wang



© Tom Wiscombe Design © Tom Wiscombe Design © Tom Wiscombe Design © Tom Wiscombe Design © Tom Wiscombe Design © Tom Wiscombe Design © Tom Wiscombe Design © Tom Wiscombe Design © Tom Wiscombe Design © 10


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