News 17-11 (No.359)
Issued : November 25, 2017
The New Sports and Cultural Center “Culttz Kawasaki” Opens in Kawasaki City
By Ayako Hakozaki
On October 1, 2017, the new sports and cultural center named “Culttz Kawasaki” opened in Kawasaki City. The city has been persuing initiatives to strengthen its image as a music-filled town and this is one result of those efforts. The name “Culttz” was suggested by a middle school student who lives in Kawasaki City. The student combined the words “culture” and “sports” to create a name that has an uplifting and light-hearted sound. It’s a naming that truly does make one want to add a spring to one’s step!
Culttz Kawasaki can be accessed from Kawasaki Station by walking on the main thoroughfare that passes in front of city hall in the direction of Tokyo Bay. The center is located in Fujimi Park and is about a 15-minute walk from Kawasaki Station. The site used for Culttz Kawasaki used to be where the old Kawasaki City Gymnasium stood until it closed in 2014. Facing the site from across the main thoroughfare is Kyoiku Bunka Kaikan Large Hall, which was built some 50 years ago. This old hall is scheduled to close in March, 2018. The new center replaces the functionalities of both old buildings by having an area dedicated to sports and an area dedicated to halls and other event spaces.
The sports area of Culttz Kawasaki features an 1,800 sq. m. (19,735 sq. ft) gymnasium floor with a mix of fixed and mobile stadium seating that can seat 1,500 persons. The large gym accommodates a wide variety of sports events and sports practice. The center’s sports area also has a small gym, an archery ground, a martial arts dojo and a weight training gym.
The area dedicated to halls has 2 halls plus music practice rooms and conference rooms. The 2,000-seat multipurpose hall has 2 balcony tiers and an orchestra pit. The intimate Act Studio seats up to 200 and has deployable seating and a flat-floor configuration, which makes it usable both as a rehearsal space and for mini-concerts and lectures. The 2 music practice rooms and a combination of 8 large, medium and small conference rooms provide additional space for activities. The halls area and sports area together offer a truly comprehensive sports and culture complex.
<< Culttz Kawasaki’s Use of the PFI (Private Finance Initiative) >>
The Culttz Kawasaki construction project aimed to build a destination complex of facilities for sports, cultural activities and recreation, while also bringing renewal investment to the Fujimi-cho neighborhood. In February, 2013, Kawasaki City decided to fund the project as a PFI and in July of the same year the city published the requirements document for the project.
Four groups of companies submitted bids for the project. The winning bid included Kajima Corporation as lead representative with partnering companies ORIX Facilities Corporation, Convention Linkage, Inc., Sumitomo Fudosan Esforta Co., Ltd. and Preludio. Nihon Sekkei, Inc. also participated in this group’s submittal in a supporting role.
After being awarded the project, Kajima Corporation and the other participating companies established ACXS Kawasaki as a Special Purpose Company (SPC). Kawasaki City signed contracts with the new SPC and designated it to be the “designated administrator” of the PFI project.
Kajima Construction and Nihon Sekkei, Inc. designed the complex. Nagata Acoustics and Kajima Technical Research Institute developed the acoustical designs for the complex and Nagata Acoustics also performed related construction management as well as project closeout and post-construction measuring activities.
<< Comprehensive Sound Isolation Design for the Complex >>
As mentioned above, Culttz Kawasaki combines in a single building a variety of rooms and spaces that have different uses and functions. Of particular concern from the acoustical perspective was the layout of the halls area. In this area, rooms and spaces intended to be used simultaneously are located close to each other. This condition required that we develop an effective design to prevent sound leakage between spaces. In addition, because there is multiunit housing on the site immediately to the north of the center’s site, the center’s sound isolation design needed to include means of preventing sound generated during events in the halls from leaking outside the building. A third focus of the sound isolation design addressed the future need to isolate the spaces from structure borne sound from underground subway trains. We included this requirement in our design because Keihin Kyuko Daishi Train Line is in the process of relocating all of its rail lines underground and the plans indicate that, in the future, the Daishi Line will run directly under the Culttz Kawasaki complex.
The implemented sound isolation design applied a comprehensive strategy to the objectives of high performance levels of sound isolation, sound leakage mitigation and the prevention of structure borne sound by specifying anti-vibration and noise isolating structural designs for each of the halls, rehearsal rooms and music practice rooms. Among these designs, for the multipurpose hall we determined the sound isolation measures needed between this hall and nearby rooms—as well as the prevention of structure borne sound from future subway trains—could be achieved without including the ceiling in the anti-vibration and noise isolating structural design. Therefore, we specified anti-vibration and noise isolating structural designs for the the multipurpose hall’s floor and walls, but not for its ceiling.
In the halls area, the music practice room intended for use by musicians playing electric instruments is located on the floor below the rear seating area of the multipurpose hall (not directly below the seating, but in a diagonal orientation relative to the seating). Musicians and bands who play electric instruments generate large volumes of sound. Sound transmission loss from the lower octave sounds generated by electric instruments tends to be rather small. To provide robust anti-vibration and sound isolation between this room and the multipurpose hall even during use of electric instruments, we installed a box of extruded cement panels around the interior perimeter of this practice room. The box is supported from the floor and without attachments to the ceiling.
At the completion of the project, we measured the results of our sound isolation design. Between Act Studio and the multipurpose hall we achieved effective sound isolation performance for sounds of >95 dB. Between the aforementioned music practice room and the hall, we achieved effective sound isolation performance for sounds of 100 dB. (Both measurements obtained at 500 Hz.) These results represent an extremely high level sound of isolation performance.
In the sports area of Culttz Kawasaki, the small gym is located directly above a conference room. To prevent the floor impact sound caused by people jumping or dribbling from transferring to the conference room, we made sure to specify an appropriate thickness for the slab under the small gym and we installed an anit-vibration rubber floating floor. In addition, we installed an anti-vibration ceiling in the conference room. As a result of these measures, when there’s basketball dribbling in the small gym, the noise criterion level of quietness in the conference room measures an acceptable NC-35.
<< The Multipurpose Hall’s Room Acoustics Design >>
Hall Audience Seating Area
Culttz Kawasaki’s multipurpose hall has the role of successor facility to Kyoiku Bunka Kaikan’s Large Hall and is expected to be used frequently for popular music concerts. In addition to being a popular music venue, the client requested that for the new multipurpose hall we design a sound reflection panel system that creates an acoustic environment appropriate to unamplified performances of classical music.
The purpose of setting up a sound panel reflection system for classical music performances is to deliver abundant early sound reflections to the audience seating. Our design located sound reflection panels suspended from the ceiling above the stage and continuing above the audience seating so that abundant early reflections propagate throughout the entire hall from the stage to the rear of the hall. Likewise, our design for sound reflection elements at the sides of the stage and continuing to the sides of the walls also generate early sound reflections effectively from these surfaces.
We staggered the height of the suspended sound reflection panels so that they would serve the same acoustical purpose as eaves. The system causes early sound reflections to reach both the performers on stage and the audience seating areas.
The multipurpose hall’s reverberation time measures 2.2 seconds (at 500 Hz) when the hall is empty, and we calculate the reverberation time to be 1.9 seconds (at 500 Hz) at times of full occupancy.
<< Opening Concert >>
Starting on October 1 and continuing through the following weekend, Culttz Kawasaki held a delightful array of gala events to celebrate the center’s opening. An opera gala concert was staged in the multipurpose hall performed by the Fujiwara Opera Company and an amateur chorus of local residents. Another event also included local participation: Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra performed a concert with the participation of amatuer local musicians in a concert entitled “The Wind Music Grand Maneuvers in Kawasaki”. In addition, the J-Pop group Kome Kome Club performed a concert in the hall as part of the gala.
Act Studio’s calendar continued the excitement of the opening with a lecture concert about the opera Norma that was to be performed in the hall later in October. Other events in this space were also related to performances on the multipurpose hall’s schedule, and there were performances such as jazz concerts and Japanese rakugo storytelling that benefited from Act Studio’s more intimate setting. I heard that the October 22 performance of Norma by the Fujiwara Opera Company received rave reviews.
In the large gymnasium, the center’s opening was celebrated with an exhibition pro wrestling match. This event allowed some nostalgia for the old Kawasaki City Gymnasium, where pro wrestling events were very popular. Another highlight among the many opening events was former Kawasaki Frontale soccer player Tetsuo Nakanishi’s guest appearance as an ambassador at a Futsal Festival.
Looking at the upcoming calendar on Culttz Kawasaki’s website I’m glad to see a fantastic lineup. Personally, I am eager to attend the first Japan tour of Cirque de la Symphonie next year in January, 2018. For some people, the walk from Kawasaki Station to Culttz Kawasaki may seem a bit tedious, so I want to mention that a bus that stops in front of the center departs frequently from the station. If you are in town, I hope you will be inspired to come see this new venue in Kawasaki City.
URL for Culttz Kawasaki： http://culttz.city.kawasaki.jp
Suzhou Symphony Orchestra’s Jinji Lake Concert Hall Opens
By Motoo Komoda
Suzhou City Culture and Arts Centre
Concert Hall Interior (Viewed from Audience Seating)
Concert Hall Interior (Viewed from the Stage)
In eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, Suzhou City is located to the west of Shanghai and virtually adjacent to it. The commute from Suzhou City to Shanghai takes just 30 minutes by high-speed rail. Suzhou City has been taking advantage of its convenient location to develop and grow significantly. With its population of more than 10 million people, the city is the main economic hub of Jiangsu Province.
Compared with the world-renowned, older part of Suzhou City that I discussed in my article about Soochow University (in the Nagata Acoustics March, 2014 Newsletter), the new, special investment zones of Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) and Suzhou New District (SND) are developing at breakneck speed. In these districts, new conference centers, exhibition halls, cultural facilities, shopping malls, hotels and office buildings, as well as high-rise housing are being built one after the other, transforming the landscapes into high-tech cities.
<< Suzhou’s Establishment of a Culture and Arts Centre, Ballet Troupe and Orchestra >>
The development of SIP began more than 20 years ago in 1994 with cooperation from the government of Singapore. SIP’s business district, which forms a kind of nucleus at the center of the SIP development area, has Jinji Lake at the business district’s center. In 2004, Suzhou International Expo Center completed and opened on the banks of Jinji Lake and, in 2007, Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre completed. The Culture and Arts Centre has a 1,222-seat Large Hall, a Small Hall with movable seating accommodating from 300 to 500 people, a cinema complex that includes an IMAX theatre, an art school, museum and a library, making it a venue with many kinds of spaces and facilities. Since its opening, the Culture and Arts Centre has served as the venue for many events and it is the venue of choice for many international artists on tour from overseas.
In genres related to classical music, Suzhou Ballet Theatre was formed in 2007 at the same time that the Culture and Arts Centre opened. The troupe has performed its productions of Carmen and The Nutcracker Suite and other works to a large number of audiences, both at home in China and around the world.
Last year, on November 18, 2016, Suzhou City and SIP jointly established Suzhou Symphony Orchestra. Some two-thirds of Suzhou Symphony Orchestra’s players hark from places outside of China, giving this orchestra a richly international diversity. Suzhou Symphony Orchestra now performs as the resident orchestra of Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre.
<< A Rehearsal Room Renovation Becomes a New Hall for Suzhou Symphony Orchestra >>
Hall’s Main Floor and First Balcony Plan View Drawing
Hall’s Second Balcony Plan View Drawing
Hall Elevation View Drawing
With the creation of Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra and the ballet troupe became co-residents of the Culture and Arts Centre. From the start of this arrangement, there were concerns whether there would be sufficient space for the activities of the 2 performing arts organizations. As a solution, a plan was devised to give the orchestra the space in the Culture and Arts Centre that had originally been designed as an exhibition hall. The plan was to renovate the exhibition space for the orchestra to use as a rehearsal room and to add support spaces there for other needs of the orchestra’s players. A project team was selected to implement the plan.
Tongji University Architectural Design and Research Institute developed the architectural design for the renovation project. Nagata Acoustics participated throughout the project with responsibilities for the room acoustics design, sound isolation design and noise control strategies.
During the project’s discussions, Nagata Acoustics proposed revising the original plan. Instead of building just a rehearsal room, we proposed a renovation of the space into a concert hall that could be used for both chamber music and orchestral concerts. We conceived a design that would give the hall the flexibility to be used in a broad range of configurations. Our proposal included the use of a stage that would be large enough for a full orchestra with motorized floor risers that would make it easy to change the stage configuration.
One element of our proposal was an adaptation of the stage for recitals or small chamber music ensemble configurations that need less stage area. For these concerts, the last row of risers at the rear of the stage would be able to be converted to seating by adding movable chairs. For use with this configuration, we envisioned a removable handrail design for the handrail of the seating behind the stage so that the movable and fixed seating would seem to merge into a single seating area. The added row of movable seating on the stage would enhance the entire audience’s sense of proximity and connectedness to the musicians. Of course, the motorized risers and the fixed seating behind the stage would also be configurable for use by a choir.
<< Highlights of Jinji Lake Concert Hall Acoustic Room Design >>
Our proposal led to more discussions and the birth of new ideas. In the end, Suzhou Jinji Lake Concert Hall came into existence. Its stage is surrounded by audience seating in an arena configuration and it has both main floor seating and 2 balconies for a total of 509 seats. As part of this project, 16 large and small practice rooms were also built, as well as a lounge for the orchestra’s players, an office and other support rooms.
For the ceiling of the hall, we wanted to achieve our goals without any changes to the roof structural supports of the existing building. At the same time, for the hall’s room acoustics, we wanted to achieve the maximum possible ceiling height. We obtained a maximum ceiling height of 15 m. (49 ft) above the stage and a 12 m. (39 ft) height at the lowest portion of the sound reflector panel that is suspended from the disk-shaped center portion of the ceiling.
The surface of the sound reflection panel has a gradual convex shape in the horizontal plane, plus pyramid-shaped sound diffusing elements. Because the balcony guardrails form a concave shape, we eliminated the possibility of undesirable sound focusing phenomena by fabricating most of the balcony guardrails using an acoustically transparent metal mesh finish.
The walls behind the audience seating form a continuous series of large, convex sections (easily seen in the accompanying Main Floor Plan View Drawing). A repeating, open-fan motif of finely protruding diffusion elements covers the entire surface of the hall’s walls.
The hall’s sound reverberation time measures 2.0 seconds with the hall empty and we calculated a reverberation time of 1.9 seconds when the hall’s seating is filled to capacity. (Both values are at 500 Hz.)
<< A Fast-Paced Project Schedule and Timely Opening >>
The scope of this project was not new construction but rather a renovation that left the existing building’s roof and exterior walls untouched. The project schedule we were given allowed 6 months for design and 6 months for construction. When I first reviewed the schedule I was so sure it would be impossible to accomplish that I was at a loss for words. Amazingly, the project completed just 3 months later than the completion date of that original schedule.
On September 30, 2017, just as Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre was celebrating its 10th anniversary, the new Jinji Lake Concert Hall held its opening ceremonies. The program included performances by string, woodwind and brass chamber music ensembles. From November 3 through 12, the hall served as the venue for an international piano competition. I hope the young, talented musicians who perform at competitions in this hall find it an inspiring and nurturing environment from which they will launch wonderful careers.
Information about Jinji Lake Concert Hall can be found on the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra website, here: http://www.suzhousso.com/WebPage/IndexEN
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