Busan Opera by Orproject

Anisotropia, the design for the new Busan Opera House, is based on Klavierstück I, a composition for piano by Orproject director Christoph Klemmt. It is based on a twelve tone row which is repeated and altered by the different voices, in order to create complex rhythmic patterns.

Busan Opera by Orproject

Anisotropia becomes the physical manifestation of Klavierstück I, a frozen piece of music. The design for the Busan Opera House is based on a simple strip morphology instead of a twelve tone row, which creates the facade, structure and rhythm within itself, its repetition happening in space instead of time. Layers of the strips form the façade structure, and the shifting and alteration of these patterns results in the formation of complex architectural rhythms which are used to control the light, view and shading properties of the façade.

Klavierstück I uses a twelve tone row which starts with the lowest key of the piano. After its first cycle the row gets repeated, though shifted up by a halftone. However rather than translating up every tone by a halftone, only the lowest tone of the row is translated up by one octave. Like this the row remains the same, but its range has been shifted.

In the next repetition this shift continues, but the range now also gets reduced in its size: The lowest tone gets translated up by one octave again, and the second lowest tone gets dropped out, so that only the remaining eleven tones of the row are played. Instead of the twelve tones the range now only covers eleven tones, and also its length is reduced accordingly.

The range of the twelve tone row continues to be reduced and shifted upwards until only one tone is left in each repetition of the original row. Then the range grows again, and still moving upwards goes through further modulations: The different voices of the piece are starting to separate, the size of the different parallel ranges starts to diverge, they move around each other, until finally they grow together again, still moving up and their range fading out with the highest key of the piano.