News 16-11 (No.347)
Issued : November 25, 2016
Hasuda City's "Hasutopia" Cultural Center Opens
By Fumiaki Sakamaki
On October 15, 2016, "Hasutopia" Cultural Center opened in Hasuda City, Saitama Prefecture. Hasuda City is located in the eastern part of central Saitama Prefecture. The new cultural center was planned as a focal point for the activities of local residents. It is built on land that belongs to the city's popular municipal sports center, named "Parushii".
The architectural firm of AXS Satow Inc. designed the Hasutopia project and a joint venture of Taisei Corporation and Iwasaki Kogyo Co., Ltd built it. Nagata Acoustics provided the range of acoustical consulting services from the design phase through project completion and conducted acoustical measurements and evaluations for the completed project.
<< Overview of the Cultural Center >>
Hasutopia Cultural Center Exterior
Hasutopia Floor Plan
As a key input to the programming of the cultural center, Hasuda City formed a Construction Planning Discussion Group composed of local cultural groups and recruited individuals. This group discussed and debated the requirements for the center with the goal of defining a cultural center that would be easy for the city’s residents to use and have long-term popularity. The planning and design of the center proceeded with input from this group.
The center’s facilities include a 634-seat hall surrounded by 3 studios, an exhibition gallery, multipurpose rooms, creative workshops and a Japanese tatami room. One unique aspect of the center’s architectural design is that the part of the building that houses the hall is a 3-story reinforced concrete structure while the portions of the center that house the rest of the facilities are all a single-story steel structure. Adopting this approach increased the design team's freedom with regard to decisions about the hall and reduced the cost of developing the center’s other spaces.
In addition to the 634-seat hall, the largest of the three studios -Studio 1- is equipped with fixed battens around its interior perimeter and ceiling so that various kinds of performance equipment can be temporarily installed. This design makes the studio able to be used as a small hall.
The design requirement for the center's entrance was that it be able to be used both for the cultural center and Parushii sports center. To accomplish this, the entrance was located on the side of Hasutopia that is adjacent to Parushii sports center. The flow of people between the two buildings was taken into consideration to design an entrance where people using either or both facilities can proceed smoothly and conveniently to their intended destinations.
The facade of the hall portion of the building is clad with cement board panels. The surfaces of the panels has several ribbed patterns and the panels are affixed to the cylindrical tower in an appealing arrangement of the patterns. Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train passengers can enjoy a view of the eye-catching architecture as they ride by Hasuda City.
<< Sound Isolation Design >>
Because the cultural center site is located near the Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train line, noise mitigation and anti-vibration measures to address solid borne noise transfer were an important aspect of the project's sound isolation design. Given the site constraints, the maximum separation we were able to obtain between the hall and the train tracks was a planar distance of just 50 m. (164 ft).
For anti-vibration measures, on the sub-floor of the hall and on the outside of the portion of the external wall nearest the train line we installed an anti-vibration polyethylene material. Also, we benefited from having an exterior concrete wall of nearly 400 mm. (16") thick surrounding the hall portion of the building. This mass is also an effective barrier for reducing the transfer of noise from the bullet trains.
After the completion of the project we evaluated the results of the sound isolation design. Inside the hall, with the HVAC system running in normal mode, the sound level of passing bullet trains has been reduced to the degree that it is practically unnoticeable.
In addition to reducing sound and vibration from sources outside the cultural center, we developed a design that enables 3 Studios and the hall to be used simultaneously. For 3 Studios we specified a structural design that includes an anti-vibration material used to create a "box-in-box" structure. While we were not able to create much physical distance between 3 Studios and the hall, the use of different structural designs for the 2 spaces enabled us to achieve an excellent sound isolation level even higher than 88 dB (at 500 Hz).
<< Hall's Room Acoustics Design >>
Hall Interior - The Stage Seen from Main Floor Audience Seating
Hall Interior - The Stage Seen from Balcony Side Seating
Hall Interior - Audience Seating Seen from the Stage
(Photos Courtesy of SS Tokyo)
The 634-seat hall is a multipurpose hall with one balcony tier. Hasuda City named the hall "Doki-Doki Hall", taking as inspiration the do-ki ("earthen pottery") unearthed in Hasuda City from Japan's Jomon period (also known as the Japanese Neolithic period) of some 5,500 years ago. Doki-doki is also an onomatopoeia verb in Japanese that refers to feeling so excited one can hear the beating of his or her own heart.
Doki-Doki Hall's balcony seating has benches instead of individual seats because of seating capacity and informal atmosphere in the hall.
For the hall's stage we devised on stage sound reflection panels. We gave the stage's fixed rear wall a finishing treatment that makes it a sound reflecting surface and, in front of this wall, we installed two large panels that can be open and closed like a pair of French doors. We also installed sound reflection panels suspended from the ceiling.
The design for the hall's shape also took its inspiration from Japan's Jomon period and is basically a horseshoe shape. However, a pure horseshoe shape tends to be susceptible to undesirable sound focusing phenomena, so we adapted the interior to eliminate this concern. We divided the interior walls into sections, gave each section its own wall and set the angle of each wall to be slightly different than the angles of the other walls. This design prevents sound focusing.
In addition to specifying the hall's angled side walls we added 3 kinds of ribbing of varying dimensions in a random pattern on the hall's walls and we applied a rough textured finish as well. By implementing these interior wall elements and treatments we obtained appropriate sound diffusion throughout the hall.
Regarding the vertical dimensions of the hall, the proscenium stage opening extends to a height of 10 m. (33 ft) above the floor and the ceiling above the audience seating area is 15 m. (49 ft) above the floor at its highest point. Because the design and construction of the hall was decoupled from the construction of the cultural center’s other rooms, we avoided the situation of some projects where a hall has rooms for other purposes above or below it. On this project, the hall's design was able to be developed with minimal restrictions on decisions about its ceiling height. This situation contributed to the successful design.
For the size of Doki-Doki Hall, we implemented a rather tall ceiling and for the per-seat spatial volume of the hall we also achieved a satisfying dimension. The sound reverberation time of the completed hall, with the stage sound reflection panels all in use, measures 2.2 seconds at 500 Hz in an empty hall and has a calculated, estimated sound reverberation time of 1.8 seconds with the hall fully occupied. This somewhat lively sound reverberation time is appropriate to the performance of live, unamplified music.
When the stage sound reflection panels are not in use and the stage curtain is in place for symposia and other events and performances, the sound reverberation time measures 1.6 seconds at 500 Hz in an empty hall and has a calculated, estimated sound reverberation time of 1.3 seconds at 500 HZ with the hall fully occupied. This stage configuration effectively reduces the sound reverberation time to the appropriate level for a variety of event types.
<< Opening Events >>
On November 3, a small ensemble of young, Hasuda City musicians who play the violin, cello and piano under the ensemble name of "Asama-San-Jyusou" Trio took the stage to give a performance at the new Hasutopia Cultural Center. In the attractive, brand-new hall, the beautiful sounds of the trio filled the hall and the audience was clearly well-satisfied with both the hall and the concert.
On the same day, a piano school held its recital in Studio 1 and an exhibition opened in the gallery. I attended the concert and saw that the recital and gallery opening were well attended, as was the concert in Doki-Doki Hall. I hope that the exuberant and joyful use of this new cultural center will continue for many years to come.
The Hasuda City Hasutopia Cultural Center website can be found at the following URL: https://www.city.hasuda.saitama.jp/bunkakaikan/kyoiku/shogai/bunkakaikan/hasutopia_top.html
China Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Hall Project
By Motoo Komoda
China Philharmonic Orchestra ("CPO") was established in the year 2000, making it yet a new arrival in the world of classical music. Led by its Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Maestro Long Yu, CPO has already performed in many countries on its worldwide tours. In 2009, the British magazine Gramophone included CPO in its list of the world’s 10 most inspiring orchestras. CPO is scheduled to perform at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Hall on December 5, 2016.
On October 17, 2016, CPO held a press conference to formally announce the construction of its earnestly desired home concert hall. The project will be built in central Beijing City on a 1.2 hectare site and will include a 1,600-seat main hall, 400-seat small hall, rehearsal room and a recording studio, as well as other support rooms and facilities. The total constructed area will be 26,587 sq. m. (286,180 sq. ft) and will cost an estimated RMB 530 million (approximately US$77 billion).
The chief architect of the project is the highly acclaimed, Beijing-based architect Ma Yansong, founder of MAD Architects. Nagata Acoustics is responsible for the room acoustics design with a focus on the main and small halls, and for the sound isolation and noise prevention designs.
<< Architectural Highlights >>
Rendering of concert hall exterior
Rendering of main hall interior
Rendering of bird's eye view of main and small halls
（Renderings courtesy of MAD）
Mr. Ma's design features a structure encased in a translucent glass facade like a beautiful white jade gem. The surrounding landscape will have a lotus pond and trees and plants that will make it seem to float on the lush greenery.
The main hall's design has a skylight in the roof and ceiling panels shaped to symbolize lotus petals that are spaced to allow the skylight's soft, natural light to flow into the hall. The plans also call for programmed images to be projected on the main hall ceiling.
<< Sound Isolation >>
For this project, the site's overall space considerations and a maximum building height of 24 m. (79 ft) combined to necessitate a layout with compact and proximate placement of the facility’s various rooms. This layout created very challenging sound isolation conditions.
In addition, the concert hall's site is located adjacent to the Beijing Workers' Stadium, an outdoor arena frequently used for rock concerts, and the city has plans to build a subway that will run below the concert hall. To address the current and future conditions, in our sound isolation design for both the main and small halls, as well as certain other spaces, we adopted a double-layer structural design that supports each entire room on anti-vibration material.
<< Unique Room Acoustics Design >>
The main hall has an arena configuration with an elliptical or almost "D"-shape footprint. The specially designed shape and the ceiling that is composed of multiple panels give the main hall a unique shape and unique interior elements for a concert hall. Because of the unique shape and ceiling we are preparing a 1/10 scale model that we will use to do more detailed room acoustics design and testing. The 1/10 scale model will be ready in the spring of 2017.
Currently, work is in progress at a rapid pace in China to complete the construction drawings. Construction is planned to begin before the end of this year and complete by the end of 2019.
CPO’s website is at http://www.cpolive.com/
Train Stations Deserve Good Acoustics, Too! - Acoustic Treatment in Taiwan's Train Stations
By Chiaki Ishiwata
While working on the National Taichung Theater project that I wrote about in last month’s newsletter, I traveled to Taiwan frequently over the course of about 10 years, participating in scale model testing and verifying progress at the construction site. Recently, I looked at the photos I took on each of those visits and realized that on various visits I took photos of the same places I had photographed on previous visits. One place I photographed again and again was Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Taichung Station.
Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Taichung Station
THSR Taoyuan Station
Taipei Metro Zhongxiao Fuxing Station Train Platform
Taipei Metro Songshan Airport Station
<< Observations at Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Stations >>
THSR opened in 2007 during the same period that the National Taichung Theater project was in its design phase. By the time the theater project broke ground to begin construction I was able to conveniently use the leg of the THSR that had opened from Taipei to Taichung. As an aside I might add that the fare for the one hour, one-way ticket costs about ¥2,500. That’s about half the cost of a similar ride in Japan.
Why did this station catch my attention on so many trips and why did I photograph it repeatedly? The reason has to do with the sound absorption treatment that I saw in place when I came through the station. The top photo accompanying this article shows the indoor portion of Taichung Station. The station has a spacious volume with a high ceiling and when I looked up at the ceiling I saw that perforated metal panels cover much of the ceiling’s surface area. Of course, it is not as if I thoroughly visually investigated what is above the perforated metal panels, but I could easily surmise that a sound absorbing material such as glass wool is installed there. The station’s environment of calm acoustics fosters a sense of security among the travelers who pass through the station. At THSR Taoyuan Station, shown in the second photo, it’s obvious that this ceiling also has a sound absorbing design.
<< Sound Absorption Materials on Ceilings of Taipei Metro Stations >>
At the Taipei Metro, the use of sound absorbing materials at many of the system's station areas and platforms is readily apparent, perhaps because of the recent construction of these facilities. The third photo of this article shows the platform of Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. From the ceiling that runs above the platform hang blue-gray colored panels made of sound absorbing material enclosed in a perforated material. The same ceiling treatment can be seen in the bottom photo of Songshan Airport Station.
<< Japan’s Noisy Indoor Train Stations >>
Back home in Japan, in places where the station is above ground the platforms typically have only roofs built directly over the platforms. While this design may not be completely impervious to rain, it does allow sound to escape, with the result that passengers experience only low levels of noise from the trains. However, on underground train and subway platforms and even at above ground train stations that have been entirely enclosed due to the likelihood of snow or other reasons, the noise level is disturbing.
I travel often for work and when I use the Shinkansen Bullet Line's underground stations there are times when the noise sounds really oppressive. In addition, probably because of sound reverberations and the sound volume used, announcements made through the public announcement systems that are installed around these stations are unintelligible. At the most basic level, the stations that are enclosed should have sufficient sound absorption to reduce the noise to the same levels heard at open-air stations that have only roofs above the platforms. The Taichung Station I discussed above is above ground and even its roof has a ceiling with a sound absorbing design.
People often speak of the "fine acoustics" of concert halls and performance venues. I would like to see us broaden our perspective and consider what "fine acoustics" should mean for each kind of space where we spend time.
Nagata Acoustics Inc.
Hongo Segawa Bldg. 3F, 2-35-10 Hongo
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Tel: +81-3-5800-2671, Fax: +81-3-5800-2672
1990 S. Bundy Drive, Suite 795
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: +1-310-231-7878, Fax: +1-310-231-7816
75, avenue Parmentier
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 21 44 25, Fax: +33 (0)1 40 21 24 00