Proposal for the regeneration of the Busan Mulmangol Bunker is based on the concept of 'subtraction' rather than 'addition'. Instead of building new volumes or simplistically focus on the inside of the Bunker only , we are proposing to regrade and remodel a large section of the Hwangnyeongsan Mountain and also to excavate a portion of the Bunker.
The gesture of unveiling a section of the bunker, will place the Bunker among those "hidden sanctuaries" and sacred ruins that have made famous cities like Greece and Italy. We want people to start thinking of the Busan Mulmangol Bunker and its surroundings as an archaeological and historical site for tourists to visit in this downtown area.
Just like other worldwide famous archaeological sites, the Busan Mulmangol Bunker will have a large Piazza (or square) where thousands of tourists will arrive and gather.This large Piazza overhanging the main road, will be the ideal place for performances and cultural events. Peeking over this Piazza, are three excavated Bunker vaults: characterized by a rough exterior surface, a remainder of their history, these vaults will enjoy natural light and will serve as tickets booths, information center and waiting areas. They will also lead the crowds to the that part of the Bunker left hidden, unexcavated.
Once inside the Bunker, the visitors will experience a series of indoor-outdoor situations and go through rooms at times artificially lit or flooded with natural light. In fact, by collapsing some of the interiors bunker walls, we are proposing to create large inner courtyards connected to the exterior by largeslanted truncated cones. Flooded with natural light, these inner courtyards will be the ideal space where to exhibit oversized Busan Biennale sculptures and pieces that the small inner Bunker could not handle.
Connecting the Bunker to an underground parking that can hold more than 300 cars and buses, is a long passageway reminiscent of the 'Via Sacra' in the Ancient Greek City of Delphi (1600–1100 BC). By means of elevators, this main street will continue over the remodeled ground of Hwangnyeongsan Mountain, looking down the main square. Here, the Via Sacra will gently lead to an outdoor theater holding 4,000 spectators and offering spectacular views toward west of Yeonje-gu.
Just like the ancient theatre at Delphi, also our theatre is modeled around the tradition of the Greek amphitheater: it's built further up the hill from the main Piazza, thus securing sufficient elevation for the back row of seats and architecturally is composed by a series of semicircles lined with rows of stone benches. The theater is also oriented strategically so to visually avoid the dense high-rises, hidden behind by the regraded ground. With its outdoor sittings and spectacular views, this theater would become a unique performance space for the Busan International Performing Arts Festival. Located on the opposite side of the Mountain and also connected by the Via Sacra, the Cinema offers spectacular views toward east of Yeonje-gu. Unlike the Theatre, the Cinema offers a flat surface with unlimited possibilities of seating arrangements, while a tall concave wall carved out from the remodeled hill side, will offer a large surface for screening movies and projections during events like the Busan International Film Festival.
Overall, proposal for the Busan Mulmangol Bunker will leave the Hwangnyeongsan Mountain unaltered, even if heavily remodeled and re-graded: the excavated rocks and ground along with bushes and trees will be entirely repurposed and relocated to give shape to the new Delphi of Busan. At night, it will shine its lights and will be visible from far: nothing to envy to hillsides of Athens, the new most famous sight in Busan.