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Innovation & Design

Austrian Firm Designing Film Center

The Pusan International Film Festival has selected Austria-based Coop Himmelb(l)au's design as the winning entry for its 430,000 square-foot PIFF Cinema Complex and urban plaza in Pusan, South Korea. The firm, led by architects Helmut Swiczinsky and Wolf D. Prix, envisions a structure with a swooping, curvaceous roof that will act as a film screen on both surfaces. Images can be projected from below for visitors inside the complex to view, but also from above so that they appear on the roof for viewers to enjoy from the surrounding structures. Prix explains, "the roof is not only a roof but also a flying building, so to say."

The building will include six cinemas, an exhibition hall, and an entry plaza that allows guests to arrive by boat. The project will also include a valley, a small canal park, and a red carpet zone and walk of fame.

Coop Himmelb(l)au completed another Cinema Center, the UFA Center in Dresden Germany, in 1998. This will be the firm's first Korean Project.

Construction has not begun, but Prix is planning to have the center completed in time for the 2007 film festival.

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