Busan Cinema Center / Busan International Film Festival


Busan, South Korea

Municipality of Busan

Cultural,Entertainment,Mixed Use,Realized,Featured

Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 BMW Welt


  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Overview from South across Suyeong River

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    The cantelevered Big Roof of the BCC with APEC park in the foreground

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Overview from the East showing the BIFF Hill and the two Roofs

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Overview from Northwest with Cinema Mountain and Small Roof over Outdoor Cinema

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Cinema Mountain sloped glass facade and Western entrance detail

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Biff Hill entrance and overview ramp connection detail

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Overview ramps and Cinema Mountain entrances detail

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Theater and Lobby circulation elements in the Cinema Mountain Lobby with the 900 seat Multifunctional Theater to the left

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    900 seat Multifunctional Theater view from stage to auditorium

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Interior of the 400 seat large cinema

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Evening street level view of the Memorial Plaza and Cinema Mountain entry sheltered by the Big Roof showing the overview ramps that wrap the Double Cone

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Evening street level view of the Memorial Plaza and Cinema Mountain entry sheltered by the Big Roof with illuminated LED surface

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    The Double Cone Cafe and Entry building with spiraling overview ramps suspended from the Big Roof

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Detail of overview ramps, Double Cone and Biff Hill entrance

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Nightime view with illuminated LED ceiling from the Bridge towards the Double Cone below the Big Roof with the BIFF Hill and Outdoor Cinema seating in the background

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    Nighttime detail view of undulating Big Roof at the Restaurant “Nipple“ with illuminated LED surface, Double Cone and overview Ramps

  • © Duccio Malagamba

    The Big Roof and Small Roof with illuminated LED surfaces covering the Memorial Plaza and adjacent Outdoor Cinema with the Double Cone and Biff Hill in the background


  • 2005


  • 2007

    Start of planning

  • 2008

    Start of construction

  • 2012


Multifunctional Theater, Cinemas, Outdoor Cinema, Public Plaza and Home of International Film Festival

  • 32 100 m² Site Area
  • 58 000 m² Gross Floor Area
  • 10 000 m² Footprint
  • 1000 seats Multifunctional Theater
  • 600 seats 3 Cinemas
  • 4000 seats Outdoor Cinema



Busan Cinema Center

© Duccio Malagamba

The basic concept of this project was the discourse about the overlapping of open and closed spaces and of public and private areas.


While the movie theaters are located in a mountain-like building, the Center’s public space is shared between an outdoor cinema and a huge public space which is called Red Carpet Area – i.e. reception area.
The Red Carpet Area is actually three-dimensional: across a ramp which leads along a double cone the guests of honour reach the reception hall. Each of the two areas is overarched by a huge roof, one of them measuring 60 x 120 meters – the size of a soccer field – and cantilevering 85 meters.

    "Once we build architecture like aircraft wings we will no longer need columns.
        The cantilevered part of the roof with its 85 meters is twice as long as one wing of the Airbus 380."

The project, Wolf D. Prix / COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s first in South Korea, addresses the theme of the roof as an architectural element – a topic which COOP HIMMELB(L)AU has been concerned with for a long time. Already in the Renaissance and the Baroque era the roof is transformed into a cupola, thereby achieving a particular significance. But it was Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier who define the roof not anymore as a mere element of protection, but as a frame for the most diverse concepts. In Niemeyer’s house in Rio de Janeiro the roof is no longer following the floor plan, but is framing the view on the surroundings and nature. The roof of the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille of Le Corbusier is itself a landscape through its sculptural articulation.
Based on these ideas COOP HIMMELB(L)AU developed the roofs of the BMW Welt in Munich and of the Busan Cinema Center. The construction as a column-free roof covering a space comes closest to the idea of a “flying” roof, which is further differentiated by its three-dimensionally articulated ceiling and therefore not only a horizontal projection screen.

Light installations on the roof, coordinated with a wide variety of events organized by the BIFF or the City of Busan, can be programmed by artists and light designers to present fully animated graphics.

Coop Himmelb(l)au’s design for the Busan Cinema Center, which serves, among other things, as the site of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), represents a new combination of culture, entertainment, technology, and architecture with a public space. The concept envisions an urban center with superimposed areas: the Urban Valley, the Red Carpet Zone, the Walk of Fame, the Memorial Court, and the BIFF Canal Park. The buildings house theaters, cinemas, a conference center, offices, production studios, and restaurants, whose spatial boundaries flow into one another in a mixture of protected interior spaces and outdoor spaces, the largest of which also functions as an outdoor cinema with seating for 4,000 people.
This open urban center, which is framed by the opaque functional areas on the plaza, is spanned by two large roofs fitted with computer-controlled LEDs. The larger of the two roofs projects a column-free, 85-meter cantilever over the Memorial Court. A multifunctional events center in the form of a double cone serves as a symbolic structure for the entrance. Designed as a steel-lattice shell sitting on spanned concrete slabs, it represents the only vertical supporting structure for the large projecting roof.

Video: LED_Surface




COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix / W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH
Design Principal/ CEO: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner: Michael Volk
Project Architect: Günther Weber
Design Architects: Martin Oberascher, Jörg Hugo
Project Team: Sergio Gonzalez, Rob Henderson, Guthu Hallstein, Matt Kirkham, Veronica Janovska, Dieter Segerer, Markus Baumann, Jasmin Dieterle, Anja Sorger, Jana Kucerova, Jan Brosch, Ivana Jug
3D Design: Renate Weissenböck, Jan-Ruben Fischer
Model: Paul Hoszowski, Ernst Stockinger, Vincenzo Del Monaco, Johannes Spiesberger, Marcus Ehrhardt, Hyoung Sub, Marc Werner
Competition Team: Victoria Coaloa, Rob Henderson, Paul Hoszowski, Jörg Hugo, Irakli Itoni, Alex Jackson, Matt Kirkham, Shannon Loew, Mona Marbach, Jens Mehlan, Tom Wiscombe, Burcu Bicer, Etienne Chanpenios, Monika Heliosch, Akvile Rimantaite


Local Partner: Heerim Architects & Planners, Seoul / Korea: Jeong, Young Kyoon; Eu, Sung Mo; Lee, Mog Woon; Kang, In Soo; Kim, SeoniI; Shin, Dong Young; Chang, Hyo Sup
Structural Engineering:
B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH Frankfurt / Vienna, Germany / Austria: Klaus Bollinger, Jan Lüdders, Daniel Pfanner, Astrid Münzinger, Jürgen Asmussen
Jeon and Partner, Seoul / Korea: Jeon, Bong-soo, Yoon, Heum-hak, Kim, Dong-gwan, Ms. Nam, Jung-hwa, Lee, Jang-hong, Ms. Han, Hye-hwa, Kim, Seung-a, Yi, Joon
Mechanical, Electrical Engineering: Arup, Berlin, Germany: Bryan Cody, Till Pasquai, Tobias Burkhart, Akif Berkyuerek
Lighting Design: Har Hollands, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Wind Studies: Wacker Ingenieure, Birkenfeld / Germany: Jürgen Wacker, Michael Buselmeier
Façade Consulting: Face of Building, Oberpullendorf / Austria: Johannes Stimakovits, Harald Weidinger
Theater Consulting: Artec, New York / USA: Tateo Nakajima, Ed Arenius, Ted Pyper


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