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Coop Himmelb(l)au directing cinema complex in Korea

The Pusan International Film Festival has selected Austria-based Coop Himmelb(l)au to design 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, metal-clad roof imbedded with a LED smart skin on both sides, acting as film screens. Images can be projected from below for visitors inside the complex to view, but also from above so they appear on the

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roof for viewers to see from surrounding structures.

The "flying building," as Prix calls it, 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, a red carpet zone, and a 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. Sarah Cox

Henning Larsens Tegnestue building concert center on fishery site

In Reykjavik, Iceland's waterfront, violin strings are replacing fishing lines. This fall, the city (along with the national government) selected Henning Larsens Tegnestue in an invited competition to design the Icelandic Congress and Concert Centre, on the site of a decommissioned fishery.

The 250,000-square-foot building comprises an 1,800-seat concert and a 450-seat rehearsal hall, as well as a conference room holding 750 people. The spaces are contained in two irregularly shaped volumes that follow the path of the shoreline.

Concertgoers will approach via a curved path intended to shield them from Faxafloi Bay's whipping winds. Extensive glazing in the multilevel foyer will provide views of the city, Mount Esja, and the glacier at

Snsfells Jokull. Other elevations will be clad in prisms and mirrors that reflect changes in weather and interior lighting. The facade is being designed by artist Olafur Eliasson, who collaborated on Larsen's Copenhagen Opera House.

Just outside, a new public plaza will feature cauldrons of geothermally heated water, enshrouding the crystalline structure in steam.

The commission is part of a $190 million redevelopment of the East Harbor district. The hall is scheduled to open in 2009. David Sokol

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