News 18-03 (No.363)
Issued : March 25, 2018
Tsuruoka City’s New Cultural Center: Shogin TACT Tsuruoka
By Chiaki Ishiwata
Building Exterior （photo:SANAA）
Building Interior Plan View Drawing
Lobby Atrium （photo:SANAA）
Tsuruoka City’s new cultural center, named Shogin TACT Tsuruoka, completed construction in August, 2017 and was followed with a pre-opening preparation period. In March, 2018, the facility held its grand opening with a performance by the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
Located in the southern portion of Yamagata Prefecture, Tsuruoka City is nestled along the Japan Sea coastline. The city boasts the Kamo Aquarium, which is famous for its vast collection of jellyfish (said to be the largest in the world). The city is also known in Japan for two agricultural products. One is “Dadacha-mame”, a tasty variety of edamame, and the other is the Tsuyahime brand of rice.
<< Naming the Shogin TACT Tsuruoka Cultural Center >>
The naming of Shogin TACT Tsuruoka combined soliciting ideas from the general public and the naming rights of Shonai Bank, which is headquartered in Tsuruoka. TACT portion of the cultural center’s name was proposed by a local resident and is an acronym for “Tsuruoka, Art, Culture and Terrace (implying, in this case, a place where people gather)”. In addition, the letters TACT remind us of the German word for a maestro’s baton: taktstock. The adoption of this part of the cultural center’s name reflects the city’s hope that the new cultural center will be a place where people gather to enjoy the arts and culture and, also, that the center will be like a maestro’s taktstock that brings together many elements to create a wonderful result. The “Shogin” part of the center’s name was added because it is a shortened way of referring to Shonai Bank (SHOnai GINko in Japanese). September, 2017 newsletter featured an article about new auditorium in its headquarters.
<< The Shogin TACT Tsuruoka Site >>
Tsuruoka City’s history dates back to Japan’s Edo Period (1603 – 1868) when the Shonai area became governed by the Sakai daimyo and clan. The Sakai clan built Tsurugaoka Castle and a prosperous town developed around it. Many historical sites from this period still remain throughout the city. One of these sites, near the park marking the former location of Tsurugaoka Castle, is the Chidokan school building of the Sakai clan. The city’s previous cultural center stood adjacent to this graceful example of traditional Japanese architecture and the new Shogin TACT Tsuruoka building also stands on the same site, replacing the previous cultural center.
<< Project Team >>
Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA, Shinbo Architects Office and Ishikawa Archirects Office designed the facility and performed project supervise activities. And Proffesor Shozo Motosugi participated in the stage design. Nagata Acoustics performed all acoustical consulting work from the design phase through measurements and evaluation of the completed project’s acoustics.
<< Overview of the Facility” >>
Shogin TACT Tsuruoka has a 1,135-seat large hall, a flat-floored small hall that can accommodate 200 seats, two music practice rooms, and a conference room. The layout maximizes the “L” shape of the project’s site, which wraps around two sides of the adjacent historic Chidokan building. The large hall is located at the center of Shogin TACT Tsuruoka and a lobby surrounds the large hall in shape of the "L". The building can be entered and exited from two different entrances that lead in opposite directions so that it is possible to enter from either one of the entrances. Outside the building, a free-standing boundary wall that separated the previous cultural center from the Chidokan’s land and the Chidokan has been removed so that the beautiful Chidokan can now be seen from the windows of Shogin TACT Tsuruoka’s lobby.
<< An Interior Design that Adapts the Space for Non-Event Days >>
The architectural design of Shogin TACT Tsuruoka aimed to create a space that the city’s residents will be comfortable visiting even when there is no performance or event on the calendar. One way that the architects realized this aim was by making a lobby which surrounds the large hall entirely, and permits access to the backstage area for casual use by the public on non-event days. The lobby is designed with large sets of doors that can be operated easily to separate backstage area and audience area on event days.
Also, the corridor to the large hall’s backstage area is wider than the norm. In addition to providing a spacious path for performers when there’s a performance, visitors to the facility can casually make use of the space to pass the time of day or meet and relax with a friend on days when there is no performance or event. The large hall’s foyer begins where the building’s lobby ends, without a wall to separate the 2 spaces. Instead of a wall, mesh drapery has been installed and can be deployed to screen the foyer from the lobby. Also, the entire lobby space is built as an atrium with the stairways to the upper level of the hall exposed without walls in the lobby’s atrium space. As a result, when using the stairs to ascend to the large hall’s balcony, performance attendees can enjoy the view of other members of the audience who are still congregating in the lobby.
For acoustical reasons, at the entrance to the audience seating area and at the rear of the hall behind the stage, we arranged two layers of doors with sound light lock. This design provides sound isolation between the lobby space and the interior of the large hall.
<< The Large Hall >>
Large Hall Configured with Stage Curtain
Large Hall Configured with Orchestra Shell
Large Hall Audience Seating Viewed from Stage （photo:SANAA）
Large Hall Audience Seating Viewed from Side of the Hall （photo:SANAA）
The large hall has been designed as a multipurpose hall for a wide range of events from lectures and ceremonies to concerts, drama and more. Of particular note is the asymmetrical placement of the audience seating blocks, perhaps reminiscent of the way small agricultural fields might be arranged on a hill. After entering the audience seating area from any of its doors, it’s possible for a person to navigate themselves to any seat in the audience seating area without exiting the hall. Also, all of the hall’s walls and ceiling have curved surfaces with the curvature varying from small to large.
One goal of the hall’s interior shape was to maintain the sense of unity between audience and stage that was a feature of the previous cultural center’s hall. To achieve this goal, SANAA decided to keep the maximum distance from stage to farthest audience seat at 30 m. (98ft) and proposed that the audience seating area be wider than the width of the stage. The stage width was set at 18 m. (59 ft) while, at its widest point, the audience seating area measures 30 m. (98 ft) across.
The side walls of the portion of audience seating that we may refer to as the “first floor seating” open outward in a fan shape as sometimes did the walls of the multipurpose hall in the past. However, unlike in the multipurpose hall where this configuration resulted in insufficient early sound reflections to the center portion of the audience seating, in the new hall, we merged the concept of vineyard style concert halls, and we took advantage of terrace walls to direct early sound reflections. To ensure that the reflections from terrace walls become soft, we installed ribbing of various dimensions on these walls to provide an appropriate sound diffusion.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to listen to a choral rehearsal in the hall and confirmed that the large hall’s acoustics has excellent clarity and fullness of sound.
<< Loudspeaker Implementation in the Large Hall >>
The large hall’s proscenium loudspeakers are installed exposed to view (and with a mechanism that allows them to be raised or lowered). In cases where the loudspeakers are installed in a hall so that they are hidden from the view of the audience, it is important to ensure that the interior wall materials do not obstruct the sound emitted from the loudspeakers. To do this requires planning a sufficiently large opening in the interior walls. Depending on the shape of the hall’s interior, such openings can become exceedingly large. Therefore, by deciding to use an exposed loudspeaker implementation for Shogin TACT Tsuruoka’s large hall, we did not have to worry about or address issues regarding the size of openings for loudspeakers or how the openings would look.
In recent years, many hall projects have installed line array loudspeakers, but sometimes the shape of these speakers doesn’t suit the shape of a hall. I wonder if we may begin to see more implementations of exposed speakers, even when the loudspeakers being installed are not of the line array type.
<< Tsuruoka City Residents’ Active Involvement in Music Performances >>
Among the residents of Tsuruoka, participating in choruses and brass bands has strong popularity. Last year, the city’s Kita High School won the Gold Medal at the annual National Competition of the Japan Choral Association.
Given the local community’s involvement in participatory music endeavors, it’s perhaps no surprise that an overflow crowd arrived to attend a pre-opening Shogin TACT Tsuruoka tour offered to the public in September, 2017, shortly after the project’s August completion. Because of the large turnout for the event, the cultural center decided to hold an additional tour on a later date to accommodate more applicant.
For the official opening events, the new cultural center’s calendar already has a substantial lineup of events scheduled. In addition to many performances that will be staged in the hall, I hope that the venue will provide plenty of opportunity for practice on the hall stage and various creative uses of all of the building’s spaces, as well as become a frequent destination where the city’s residents will want to gather and spend time on a daily basis.
Trust Bridge Chamber Hall Opens in Shanghai
By Erik Bergal
Chamber Hall (Audience View)
Chamber Hall (Stage View)
Chamber Hall Side-Balcony
Chamber Hall Plan Drawing
Chamber Hall Section Drawing
Chamber Hall with Acoustic Curtains
Sound Light Lock Door
The compact Trust Bridge Chamber Hall has recently finished construction and is prepared to open in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park of Shanghai. Developed by investment fund Trustbridge Partners, who manage assets from an investor base that includes university endowments and pension funds, the complex includes an exclusive elementary school and other educational and athletic facilities. Tucked into a corner of the five-building campus, this building is dedicated to hands on learning and culture. From bottom to top, it contains an open plan woodworking shop, lounges, classrooms, and a library, together with the Chamber Hall which will play a central role in this new building.
At the time we joined the project, the concrete skeleton of the building had already been completed and only interior fit out and minor structural modifications were necessary. Design and construction lasted almost exactly a year due to the client’s efficient management and established relationship with the Shanghai based architects, AIM Architecture. Programming for the hall will range from classical chamber ensembles to lecture and presentations. Local music students will be able to rent out the space to make professional grade recordings.
The hall is essentially shoebox in shape with a narrow balcony on the house left with a total of 158 movable, upholstered seats. Musicians sit in close proximity to audience with the first row of seats sitting on the resonant wood stage. Two-floor-backstage has space for instrument and equipment storage beneath the dressing, recording, and control rooms.
<< Interior Design of the Chamber Hall >>
AIM Architecture has been responsible for the interior finish of the entire campus and has continued a consistent aesthetic of warm wood, polished terrazzo, and bold colors into the chamber hall and backstage. To avoid potential flutter echoes from the parallel walls, wedges of varying depths line the walls in tiers delineated by plates finished with aluminum. The wedges are backfilled with concrete to provide adequate surface density for low frequency reflection while the faces are finished with vertical ribbing to scatter sound.
Our greatest obstacle was the small available space with little opportunity for increasing the room envelope. While we kept as much ceiling height as possible in order to increase the room air volume, only 7.2m above the stage floor was possible. Massive, inverted domes of glass-fiber reinforced gypsum hang from the ceiling. Their convex shape is designed to disperse incoming sound rays and increase the sound path length to preserve enough late sound energy. Furthermore, the disks complement inset domes which are found throughout the rest of the campus’s design language. The flat ceiling above the disks is treated with sprayed glass beads to disperse high frequency sound reflections while keeping a homogenous visual impression.
A system of mechanized acoustic banners can be lowered to reduce the reverberation characteristics of the auditorium for amplified lectures. When deployed, the banners cover the stage rear wall and house right wall and reduce the reverberation time at 500Hz from 0.6s to 0.4s (calculated for occupied condition). While short, this reverberation is quite understandable for a room only 910m³ in volume.
Due to the tight available footprint, an adjacent restroom was evacuated to provide space for the HVAC machinery. Despite the fact that the machines share a wall with the auditorium, the noise floor is impressively low (less than NC-15). Air flows into the room from slits along the audience steps and a gap surrounding the stage. Aside from providing quiet, even airflow to the performers, the gap creates the visual illusion that the stage is floating, detached from the walls.
A large door, 2m wide by 3m tall, divides the hall from the foyer. When the door is open, the side balcony becomes an extension of the open corridor leading in from the atrium. In this way, a visitor to the building may find themselves unexpectedly drawn in to a lecture in the auditorium on their way to the library on the upper floors. For classical music concerts, the door becomes a wall of the sound and light lock, diverting concertgoers through a lounge to the side entrances. While the triple gasketed door is extremely heavy for the purpose of sound isolation, it is surprisingly easy to open.
<< First Notes >>
In early March, we had the pleasure of listening to the first music in the hall: a string quartet from the Shanghai Conservatory, and we found the sound to be clear and delicate. The more the musicians relaxed and scaled back their dynamics, the better their ensemble became.
From what I’ve seen of the Trustbridge educational philosophy, I expect that there will be a great variety of performers and lecturers who will visit the space in the coming years. There is no doubt in my mind that the hall will become a center for sharing ideas and spark the students’ interest in classical music.
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
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Tel: +33 (0)1 40 21 44 25, Fax: +33 (0)1 40 21 24 00