Trifold Madang is an entry for the Busan Opera House competition, by IwamotoScott Architecture, which addresses the sponsors’ aim to create a new icon of the North Port area, establishing an international gateway while fostering maritime tourism for the new Maritime Culture District. Their design tries to significantly dramatize the experience of going to the opera. The sculptural form at the water edge maximizes the connection between the city, the water and the surrounding landscape.
Three large programmed pedestals support the building which is lifted above the surrounding site and the space flows beneath the opera, up onto a landscaped podium, culminating in a mound at the development center. The center space evokes the memory of the traditional Korean Opera, performed in outdoor courtyards – the madang.
As visitors approach the building of the Opera, they ascend one of three exterior Grand Stairs. A large central triangular skylight anchors the space where three staircases meet.
From the Public Madang, the visitors are directed up via three Spiraling Stairs, wrapped around prismatic glass-enclosed garden light-well, to the Main Lobby. Wooden liner in the form of the continuous ribbon defines the perimeter of the Main Lobby’s circulation loop. The ribbon is perforated in order to transmit both filtered daylight and the artificial lighting integrated within the liner’s depth.
The audience is accommodated in two main seating tiers – continuous wood surface that splits and folds to form two balconies and open box seats to the sides. The Opera House is wrapped in a diagrid structural skin system. The outermost layer is an array of parametrically modulated metal panels, flexible to adjust to varying environmental conditions, light and view.