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Matteo Cainer Architects’ Busan Camellian Opera House was carefully designed as an attractive and serene venue for opera and other performing arts. Through its camellia-like form, the opera house responds to the city and its ever-evolving state, stretching out to the sea as an island retreat away from the buzz of the city. The entire structure is planted with greenery, creating a dense, succulent-filled landscape where the leaves of the plants represent the citizens of Busan.

The architects opted to use glass in order to optimize interior lighting while drawing the external greenery indoors. When lit up at night, the building glows like a greenhouse with plants in sight. A huge interactive light installation sits in the grand foyer, which provides space for audiences pouring in from the halls to congregate. The space has been designed to be flexible to fit the opera house’s various activities, and is linked to both the lyric and the multiform theaters.

In addition to housing an opera house, the dramatic cantilevered structure sets aside spaced for restaurants with spectacular views and plenty of planted promenades for concert patrons and city inhabitants to enjoy. The proposal also integrates green technologies to enhance its efficiency and minimize its carbon footprint.

A beacon overlooking the city and the sea, the Camellian Opera House seamlessly blends architecture with the landscape. Open-air activities, arts, and music can all be enjoyed while immersed in greenery next to the sea. Through its light and sinuous architectural forms, the project highlights the strength, balance and vital characteristic of Busan.

+ Matteo Cainer Architects