Busan will welcome a big boost to its arts and entertainment facilities over the next three years in response to growing demand from domestic and international event planners. The Busan International Art Center will open in 2021, followed by the Busan Opera House and Busan Lotte Town Complex in 2022.
The Busan International Art Center is a new addition to the popular Busan Citizens Park area. The site will encompass an area of nearly 30,000sqm while the three-storey complex itself will offer floor space of 20,000sqm for a range of multipurpose cultural events. In addition to exhibition halls and meeting rooms, the complex will provide a 2,000-seat concert hall.
The much-anticipated Busan Opera House forms part of a major city waterfront land-reclamation project near the Busan Port International Passenger Terminal, a key stopping point for cruise passengers. Designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, the large, open-plan building has been designed for widespread use inside and out of its five floors. With more than 50,000sqm of space on offer, highlights will include an 1,800-seat Grand Theater, 300-seat Small Theater, an exhibition hall and rooftop space.
Also set to open in 2022 is the ultramodern Busan Lotte Town, which forms part of the existing Lotte shopping and entertainment complex in the city’s central Nampo district. Rising 380m and spanning 30 floors, the multipurpose harbourside complex will include a range of shopping, dining and entertainment facilities such as open gardens, rock climbing facilities, a theme park and more.
The forthcoming venues follow an ongoing healthy spate of growth for Busan’s cultural events infrastructure. In April this year the city welcomed the Dream Theater, billed as Busan’s first musical theatre, which opened its doors with a production of The Lion King; while new exhibition space, the Busan Museum of Contemporary Art, opened in 2018.
An active contributor to Korea’s arts and entertainment scene, Busan regularly hosts the Busan One Asia Festival, Art Busan, and the Busan International Film Festival, attracting large annual global audiences. A total of 2,473,520 people visited Busan in 2018, up from 2,396,237 in 2017. The figure is expected to hit three million by the end of this year.