The Bucheon Arts Center is a multi-venue arts centre and home to the Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO). It features a 1,450 seat concert hall, a 300 seat black-box theatre and a large orchestral rehearsal room, a room which is unique in South Korea.
As the performing arts designer for the centre, Arup worked closely with the client and creative partners to design three key performance and rehearsal environments where the artist and audience acoustical and theatrical experience reflect the culture and character of the city and nation. The design is a collaboration between Arup and Seong Kyu Hong who led the architectural design on behalf of Haenglim and DMP.
The concert hall will be the first in Korea designed with a sophisticated coupled-volume acoustic approach that offers a character of sound experience with a unique identity. The smaller black-box theatre space is highly transformable in order to host a wide range of performances from music recitals to drama, for professional and community use.
Originally selected following an architectural design competition, we supported the project’s architecture and wider design teams from the outset, developing the initial acoustic vision for the facility before developing this through to a technical concept for the spaces.
1,450 seat concert hall
300seat black-box theatre
1large orchestral rehearsal room
A unique identity through sound
The Bucheon Arts Center captures and reflects the cultural and societal characteristics that inform how the people of Bucheon, and the musicians, wish to communicate through sound, physically and visually. By doing this the centre provides a unique sense of place that flavours the performance spaces and imbues it with a critical authenticity that artists and audiences will recognise.
The vision for the Bucheon Arts Center was based on both the artistic focus of the BPO, and on references to Korean culture, language, and social character. Our goal was to design a hall that supports the big orchestral sound that the BPO is renowned for, with a textured reverberance and a rich and beautiful tone, and a sense of ‘order’ in the sound. Creating a connection between the orchestra and audience while respecting the importance of the perception of boundaries without the feeling of a constrained ‘indoor’ environment was crucial.
Consideration was given to providing musicians with an environment that allows the broadest range of expression and control, and that ensure a close interaction between the audience and the artist.
The Bucheon Arts Center is a landmark venue for South Korea, offering more than a uniquely innovative concert hall; it is a modern beacon of culture, connecting our current artists with the next generation of musicians like never before. We are proud to have been involved throughout the development of a project which will be culturally significant for generations to come. ” Steve Yoon Associate
Concert halls need to work equally well for the wide range of repertoire of the modern symphony orchestra. This ranges from works of Baroque and Classical era, through to the large works of the Romantic and contemporary composers of today, to recitals, jazz and world music, as well as amplified speech events and semi-staged opera performances.
For the Bucheon Arts Center, we designed a performance environment that aims to respond to this entire range of repertoire. It is equipped with six spacious overhead canopies specifically designed to optimise acoustics, with adjustable heights to suit any requirements. There is a motorised cloth system that can be deployed to cover part, or all, of the wall surfaces. In addition, an array of smaller, height-adjustable sound reflectors provides both acoustic support to the musicians, and order to the sound that reaches the audience.
Being the newest concert hall in Asia, designed by Arup, the Bucheon Arts Center redefines the concept of acoustic perfection which sets new standard for musical performance and audience experience. ” Henry Chan Associate Director
We believe our collaboration with Seong Kyu Hong and the entire DMP / Haeglim team has delivered a space which will provide audiences and artists with a place for deeply memorable musical experiences, in a way that will be unique to Bucheon. ” Tateo Nakajima FRSA FIOA Arup Fellow
Creating a silent environment
Silence is an essential ingredient for great concert hall acoustics. The new concert hall of the Bucheon Arts Center has been designed as a very quiet environment as a foundation for a wonderful environment for music making and listening. A silent environment (where the enjoyment of the music is not distracted by noise) allows the musicians the widest possible range of expression and dynamics, enabling them to produce their sound naturally without forcing and fighting the room, potentially having a positive impact on their health and longevity of their careers.