News 18-06 (No.366)
Issued : June 25, 2018
Shinmai Media Garden Opens in Matsumoto City
By Toshiko Fukuchi
(Facing Ise-Machi Street)
First Floor Entrance Hall
(Building’s Opening Celebration)
On April 28, 2018, Shinano Mainichi Newspaper’s new Matsumoto headquarter building opened in Matsumoto City’s urban center. The new building will be called Shinmai Media Garden.
This year marks the 145th anniversary of the founding of Shinano Mainichi Newspaper. In Nagano Prefecture, this long-established regional publication is affectionately referred to by the abbreviation “Shinmai”.
The newspaper maintains two headquarter locations, one in Nagano City and the other in Matsumoto City. Until 1970, the Matsumoto City headquarter location was in a building near Matsumoto Castle. In that year, the Matsumoto City headquarters moved to Minami Matsumoto (“South Matsumoto”). The Matsumoto City headquarters’ return to Matsumoto City proper happily coincides with the 145th anniversary milestone year.
Shinmai Media Garden is located along the route from Matsumoto Train Station to Matsumoto Castle, where Ise-Machi and Hon-Machi streets intersect, putting the new building at the heart of places frequented by the city’s tourists. The new building has one basement level and five levels above ground. The first three floors above ground have zones for public use that include an information center, places to relax and congregate, shops and restaurants, a multipurpose studio space and a kitchen that can be used for cooking events. Floors four and five house the newspaper’s offices. A regional-news, tabloid paper and website named MG Press (website is in Japanese), which is published by the Matsumoto headquarters, also has its editorial office on the building’s fourth floor.
The architectural firm Toyo Ito & Associates designed the building and Kitano Construction Corp. served as the general contractor. The building’s name of “Shinmai Media Garden” is said to be derived from architect Toyo Ito’s concept of “people engaging in various activities and mingling in a garden of information.” Nagata Acoustics designed the room acoustics of the hall on the first floor and the studio on the third floor. In addition, for the entire building, we provided acoustical consulting services.
<< Entrance Hall and Information Desk >>
Outside the entrance of Shinmai Media Garden, a plaza area simply named “Square” provides an outdoor venue for events. A Shinmai Media Garden pamphlet states that this space can also be used as the location for festival stages and for outdoor markets or other temporary pop-up sales events. During the building’s opening ceremonies, the offical tape cut took place at the outdoor Square plaza.
On the first floor of the building and easily visible from the entrance hall’s main west entrance, the partially enclosed information desk combines three reception desks—one for the building overall, one for the newspaper’s offices and one for asking general questions and receiving local news information or providing the newspaper with news and information a visitor wants to share. The information desk has the role of directly connecting the newspaper with the general public, both to provide information to the public and to receive any news and information requests the public wishes to share with the newspaper.
<< Multipurpose Hall Space >>
First Floor Hall
(Display of “Pumpkin 2011” by Yayoi Kusama,
from her special outdoor exhibit “All About My Love”
at Matsumoto City Museum of Art)
Beyond the information desk, in a space along the north side of the building, the first floor entrance hall seamlessly becomes a generally rectangular space with a ceiling 5 m (>16 ft) high. Shinmai Media Garden simply calls this space “Hall”. Hall can be used either as a multipurpose event space or as an extension of the building’s entrance hall. Hall has no walls or dividers to separate it from the entrance hall, so on days when the space is not designated for a specific multipurpose space use, people can freely use the Hall space to sit and relax in Hall’s indoor media garden atmosphere.
The exterior wall at the east end of the first (ground) level has glass panels from floor to ceiling and glass doors at the center of the wall. When these doors are propped open people can enter from the main entrance on the building’s west side, continue through the entrance hall and through Hall to exit through the glass doors at the east side of the building. The building’s programming specifically includes this potential way of using the first floor for events that want people to enter and exit from different ends of the building.
Another planned configuration for the Hall part of the first floor addresses using the space as a more room-like, enclosed environment. To provide some sound isolation and a partition for this kind of event, we equipped the space with a 3-layer curtain. When deployed, this curtain hangs between the entrance hall and Hall. When not in use, the curtain is retracted into storage space with a lid that hides it from view.
In addition to the 3-layer curtain that can separate the entrance hall from Hall, we installed another curtain of the same material at the east glass wall. Each of the curtains can be adjusted both to shut out light and to change the sound reverberation characteristic of the Hall space.
For the parallel north and south walls of Hall, we collaborated with the architect to design the surface of these walls as uneven surfaces with an assortment of large and small folds. This design prevents the undesirable flutter echo pheonomenon that can occur in rooms with parallel walls. Also, we installed a grid-style system of fixed theatre battens near the ceiling so that lighting and audio equipment can be added to the space for various kinds of performances or other events.
<< Third Floor Studio >>
On the third floor, Shinmai Media Garden has a Studio space appropriate both for use as a conference room and for dance classes, workshops and similar activities. The wall between the Studio and its adjacent corridor is transparent glass, which gives the room a feeling of openness. We specified a double layer of glass panels for this wall to provide sound isolation between the Studio and other spaces on the third floor. In addition, we specified a floating floor for the Studio to reduce footfall noise when the room is used for dance activities.
The third floor also has a kitchen designed for cooking demonstrations and group dining events. The spaces around the kitchen can be separated from it or joined to it using curtains that can be deployed or stored.
<< Aligned Architectural and Artistic Direction Vision >>
Architect Toyo Ito also designed Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre, which opened in 2004. The centre’s artistic director, Mr. Kazuyoshi Kushida, has also been appointed to serve as Shinmai Media Garden’s creative planning producer.
Two years ago, when Shinmai Media Garden was under construction. Mr. Kushida produced his outdoor “Flying Theatre” at the Shinmai Media Garden construction site. Based on the impresssion from the event, he told that his vision for Shinmai Media Garden is less to turn it into a venue for dramatic performances and more to nurture a place where people will gather and exchange ideas. His vision may be accurately and aptly captured by the phrase “media garden”.
<< The Building’s Seismic Safety and Energy Efficiency Features >>
Shinmai Media Garden’s structural design uses a seismic base isolation system for earthquake preparedness. For the heating and cooling system, the building uses as one of its sources groundwater from the Hebi River that flows near the building’s location and, in addition, the buidling has a solar power generator. In these ways, the project was mindful of future occupants’ safety and of the building’s impact on the environment.
<< Shinmai Media Garden as a Matsumoto City Tourism Destination >>
Second Floor Shopping Zone
On the second floor shopping zone, visitors to Shinmai Media Garden will find stores with apparel and other items appropriate to enjoying the outdoors in the city surrounded by beautiful mountains. Shoppers will also enjoy the assortment of local delicacies and sweets that many of the city’s well-known purveyors have opened.
Some of the restaurants on the third floor also offer menu items known to be Matsumoto City specialties or that use well-known local ingredients. On clear days, the majestic Northen Alps section of the Japan Alps can be seen from the third floor terrace located directly above the building’s main entrance. When you’ve tired of shopping and sightseeing, I recommend spending some time sitting on the terrace and simply enjoying this view, perhaps with a glass of beer in hand.
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