Busan Cinema Center by Coop Himmelb(l)au

Austrian architects Coop Himmelb(l)au won the competition for the project of Busan Cinema Center in South Korea. The construction of this massive building begun in 2008 only to finish four years later in 2012. What is interesting is the fact that this building inscribed itself in the Guinness World Records book as the longest cantilever roof in the world. The Austrian architects stress the importance of roof as an architectural element and are keen on exploring its structural and architectural possibilities and limits. According to “Archidaily” article, the team of architects took inspiration for the project from the Renaissance and Baroque cupolas, Oscar Niemeyer’s house in Rio de Janeiro as well as Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation.

Busan Cinema Center (ArchiDaily)

The three keys that relate to this architecture from my point of view are the following:

Math which is visible through the complexity roof system, the large cantilevered elements and the way they fight off gravity in combination with other architectural details create the building we can see today. The difficult structural system requires mathematical knowledge of geometry and manipulation of the mechanical properties of materials.

Busan Cinema Center Section B-B’ (displays the complexity of the roof system)

Emerging a key related to the interdependence between all elements of one building or system of buildings. If we were to separate various elements from the Busan Cinema Center we wouldn’t have the same impression as we do of the entity. The glorious cantilevered roof is dependant on a system of smaller architectural elements which in their organic form and shape are enriching the architecture.

Busan Cinema Center (interdependence of architectural elements)

Displacement is a key that works differently for this building, contrary to the “form follows function” here we can easily conclude that the function follows the form that the architecture has. The futuristic shapes of Busan Cinema Center does not give out the function of the building at the first look, it is rather intriguing since looking at it from the outside gives us no notion of what could be happening in the interiors. In the plan, we can explore how various elements, despite not being designed to follow a specific function manage to be utilitarian.

Busan Cinema Center First Level Floor Plan

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