News 18-11 (No.371)
Issued : November 25, 2018
Zaryadye Concert Hall opens in Moscow
By Marc Quiquerez
Built on the edge of the new Zaryadye Park in central Moscow, Zaryadye Concert Hall complex was inaugurated on September 8, 2018, one year after the park opened to the public.
<< Project Overview >>
Building exterior (Main entrance)
The venue features a 1560-seat philharmonic hall (“Large Hall”) and a 400-seat chamber and recital hall (“Small Hall”) which can also be used for orchestra rehearsal. The building was designed by Moscow-based TPO Reserve and Nagata Acoustics served as acoustical consultant for the room acoustics of the two halls.
We first reported on the design of the building and the halls in a previous issue of this newsletter (August 2016 newsletter). At that time, construction was underway for the park and had also started on the building. Design phases were nearing completion and a 1:10 scale model of the Large Hall was under construction. Acoustic tests on the model were conducted between March and September 2017 to finalize the interior design of the hall.
Large Hall (Balcony View)
Large Hall Plan Drawing
Large Hall Section Drawing
Construction works in the hall were first rushed for an early completion in July 2018, when the complex was due to host Moscow Urban Forum 2018. Construction then resumed in late July and August, and the hall was finally completed in time for the scheduled inauguration in September.
Designed primarily as a hall for orchestra performances in natural acoustics, the Large Hall features a stage sized for large ensembles, complete with mechanical risers. The audience is divided between an extensive main parterre section and a seating terrace to the sides and back of the stage which transforms into a balcony as it steepens toward the rear of the hall. Additional shallow balconies on each side of the hall are primarily used for VIP guests. The first rows of the parterre are laid out on flat lifts which can be lowered to reveal a large orchestra pit intended for staged or semi-staged opera or ballet performances, following the successful model of Mariinsky Concert Hall in St Petersburg. The pipe organ designed by Muhleisen G.Walther & Associés of Strasbourg (France) is showcased by a dynamic façade occupying the entire width of the upper back wall. Only the façade could be installed in time for the hall’s inauguration, but the instrument will be completed and voiced over the course of the next year. With plans to extend the programming of the hall beyond classical music, the full extend of the main floor (included terrace walls) can also be transformed by mechanically lowering each individual row of floor and seating.
The Small Hall offers a 300m2 fully flat floor and a shallow balcony ring. With its 14 m-high ceiling and ample volume, it is suited for rehearsal of large ensembles. Retractable acoustical draperies can be deployed around the upper walls and on the long sides of the lower walls to adjust the reverberance of the space to the needs of the various programs—which range from intimate recitals to amplified music or lectures—or occupancies.
<< First notes and inaugural concert >>
Maestro Valery Gergiev gathered a small group of musicians from Mariinksy Orchestra on August 29, 2018 as their first rehearsal in the finished hall ahead of the inaugural performance. The musicians immediately sounded at ease on the new stage, and Maestro Gergiev quickly stepped off the podium to walk around the hall, conducting the ensemble from a distance and instructing changes in the music and musicians’ layout. Together, they playfully explored various musical registers and seating arrangements, putting the hall and its acoustics through a thorough test. They were later joined on stage by pianist Denis Matsuev. The sound in the hall was consistently clear, balancing great warmth and precision while exhibiting strength and richness throughout the audience.
After the musicians had left the stage, we measured the reverberation time in the empty hall to be 2.9 s at 500 Hz, and estimated the reverberation time in a fully occupied hall at 2.4 s (500 Hz). Though rather high, these numbers confirmed our listening impressions of a rich acoustics and long reverberance, but never at the expense of high clarity of sound.
Mariinsky Orchestra took the stage for the inaugural concert of September 8, 2018 with their music director Gergiev, and joined by Mariinsky Chorus After an introductory address by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the concert opened with Modest Mussorgsky’s Overture to Khovanshchina opera, aptly subtitled “Dawn over the Moskva River”, as an homage to the new hall emerging on the river bank. It was followed by an all-Russian program with pieces by Shchedrin, Glinka, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov and more Mussorgsky. An all-star cast of soloists took the stage with the orchestra, with vocalists Albina Shagimuratova, Anna Netrebko, Mikhail Petrenko and Ildar Abdrazakov, pianists Daniil Trifonov and Denis Matsuev, violinist Pinchas Zukerman, and trumpeter Timur Martynov.
Coinciding with the celebration of Moscow Day honoring the founding of the City, the opening of the new hall served as a wonderful gift to a city passionate about music.
Renovated Chigasaki City Cultural Hall Opens
By Ayako Hakozaki
Renovated Chigasaki Civic Center Building Exterior
Chigasaki City Cultural Hall originally opened in 1980. In March, 2017, the building closed for major renovations. The construction, inspections and fine-tuning period lasted 19 months until this autumn. In early October, 2018 the attractively renovated and easy-to-use cultural hall celebrated its reopening.
<< Building Code Revisions’ Impact on the Project Timeline >>
Looking back to the beginning of this project, it’s worth mentioning the long duration from the start of design planning until the renovated building’s opening. The project’s inception dates back to 14 years ago. In 2004, the building had a seismic event assessment and equipment evaluation. The reports from these investigations clearly identified deficiencies in the building’s ability to resist seismic events and significant wear-and-tear of the building’s equipment and amenities. To upgrade the building for earthquake preparedness, improve the ease of use and comfort level for people who use the cultural hall, and improve the building’s accessibility, the city planned a major renovation project.
In 2009 – 2010, the Tokyo-based architectural design firm A&T Associates developed a basic renovation design plan and drawings. During this period, Nagata Acoustics took measurements of the reverberation times in the existing building’s Large and Small halls, measured the noise from HVAC equipment and participated in the design development by providing a range of acoustical consulting services.
However, shortly after the completion of the construction documents, northern Japan was hit with the Great Tohoku Earthquake in March, 2011. As a result of damage caused by the earthquake, Japan revised many of its building codes and these changes had a major impact on the Chigasaki City Cultural Hall project schedule. Chigasaki City published a “Public Facilities Maintenance and Reorganization Plan” and a 2016 revised design for the cultural hall project was developed by A&T Associates 5 years after their first design. The new design also took into consideration two other sets of changes: revisions to Japan’s national standards regarding ceilings in large and small halls and public lobbies that the Japanese government published in response to damage from the Great Tohoku Earthquake; and Chigasaki City’s 2015 basic policy formulations regarding accessibility requirements in public spaces.
With all the design changes completed, the old cultural hall closed on March, 2017 and construction renovations began, completing in July, 2018. A&T Associates served as construction manager during this phase of the project and Nagata Acoustics participated as the acoustical consultant, including performing measurements and evaluations at the end of construction. Taisei Corporation was the general contractor during the construction phase.
<< Renovation Highlights of the Large and Small Halls >>
Renovated Large Hall
Renovated Small Hall
The acoustics of the 1,400-seat Large Hall had a favorable reputation prior to the renovations. Therefore, our basic approach to renovating this hall began with the decision to retain the hall’s shape while aiming to increase the hall’s reverberation time to match the current preferences of hall audiences for longer reverberation times. To achieve this goal, we increased the density of the sound-reflecting surfaces on the hall’s ceiling and side walls and replaced a portion of the sound-absorbing surfaces with sound-reflecting ones. Through these changes, we aimed to lengthen the hall’s sound reverberation time while preserving its overall fine acoustics.
For the Small Hall (which has a seating capacity of 400 seats), the renovations aimed to increase the reverberation time as much as possible. To achieve this goal, we raised the ceiling height above the audience seating area so as to increase the overall air volume of the room.
The Small Hall’s ceiling renovation design was constrained by the need to build it within the original building’s structural framework. We designed the ceiling to be a sound-reflecting surface with a continuous curve that evenly distributes the room’s sound reflections. The renovated ceiling is 0.7 m. – 1.5 m. (2.3 ft – 5 ft) higher at the front of the audience seating than the height of the ceiling in the original building’s Small Hall and, at the center of the audience seating area, the renovated ceiling measures 0.3 m. – 0.4 m. (1 ft – 1.3 ft) higher than the celing in the original Small Hall.
In addition, between the sound reflection panels of the pre-renovation Small Hall and its proscenium there was a large gap of 1.3 m. (4.3 ft). As part of the renovations, we reduced this gap as much as possible by extending the ceiling sound reflection panels and the side reflection panels towards the proscenium.
For the seismic retrofit of the ceilings in both halls, we replaced the pre-renovation suspension system with a steel structure support system. The new support system resulted in acoustical as well as seisimic resistance benefits because of the increased rigidity of the support system above the ceiling. In addition, by installing multiple layers of bonded boards for the ceiling system, we created a more dense surface than the pre-renovation ceilings had, with the result that the ceilings are now firm sound-reflecting systems.
Regarding the side walls of both halls, the pre-renovation building used wood framing behind the wall surface material. Instead of wood, we used light steel framing in both halls and attached wall board to the new framing.
In addition to the above renovations, we installed new seating in both the Large and Small halls. Previously, each audience seat had a width of 49 cm. (19 in.). The new seating is a more contemporary and spacious 3 cm. (1.2 in.) wider per seat. From the acoustical perspective, we took into consideration the aim of maintaining the same sound-absorbing upholstery surface area as in the pre-renovation halls. To achieve this goal we selected seating with a seatback that has a small upholstered cushion area.
As a result of the renovations in the Large Hall, when the sound reflection panels are deployed the reverberation time has increased by 0.3 seconds to 1.6 seconds. In the Small Hall, when the sound reflection panels are deployed, the reverberation time now measures 1.0 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds longer than the reverberation time in the pre-renovation Small Hall. (For both halls, the values represent measurements in a fully-seated hall at 500 Hz.)
<< Practice and Rehearsal Room Renovations and Sound Isolation >>
Before the Renovations
After the Renovations
Plan views of practice and backstage areas before and after the renovations
Another major aspect of the cultural hall’s renovations involved changes to the layout of a portion of the building dedicated to practice and rehearsal rooms. In addition to the Large and Small halls, a third hall was newly built in this area. The new, flat-foored space doubles as a practice room and as a “mini” hall, with the programming intention that it will be used as a creative, recital and performance space by local city residents.
The new Mini Hall is located in space used in the pre-renovatin building as the Exhibition Hall. By strengthening the overall structure of the space we became able to remove a column that stood in the middle of this space in the old building. We also enhanced the space by opening up the ceiling to create a room with a two-story high ceiling. In a different part of the building we built a new exhibition hall that has more floorspace than did the previous building’s Exhibition Hall when it was in the Mini Hall’s location.
The new Practice Room No. 1 / Mini Hall, as well as the relocated Practice Rooms No. 2, 3 and 4, the Rehearsal Room that doubles as a dressing room for the Large and Small halls, and the Large and Small halls themselves all have enhanced sound isolation properties compared with the their counterparts in the pre-renovation building. To the extent possible, we planned the sound isolation design so that the various spaces can all be used simultaneously.
Our sound isolation design implemented two strategies. One strategy was the use of instrument storage, other storage space and similar buffering spaces in-between the various practice, rehearsal and hall spaces. Our other strategy was the adoption of anti-vibration and sound-isolating structural designs for each of the spaces. As a result of implementing these measures, we achieved a high level of sound isolation performance for sounds exceeding 80 db (at 500 Hz) beween each of the practice and rehearsal rooms, and between each of the practice rooms, rehearsal room and Large and Small halls.
<< Renovated Chigasaki City Cultural Hall’s Opening Week >>
On October 1, 2018, the renovated Chigasaki City Cultural Hall celebrated it’s Renewal Opening. Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra performed two gala concerts with Maestro Masahiro Ueno conducting. The opening concert program was performed twice, first at a matinee that began at 3:00 p.m. and a second time in the evening, beginning at 7:00 p.m. In addition to the orchestra and Maestro Ueno, performers included popular singers Kosaku Yamada and Yuzo Kayama, as well as the rock band Southern All Stars, who together shared the stage to perform a “Chigasaki Medley” of tunes.
Throughout the rest of the reopened hall’s first week, the schedule of festivities continued to celebrate “Renewal Opening Week” with a lineup of offerings that included backstage tours, Yoshimoto Comedy Festival, Tokyo Popular Music Band’s performance of “Showa Nostalgia” songs, Puppet Theatre Hitomi, a performance by the New Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and other performances and attractions that filled the calendar through the end of the week.
I attended the October 7, 2018 special concert by the New Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in the Large Hall. The orchestra’s conductor, Maestro Toshiyuki Kamioka lived in Chigasaki City when he was a boy, so performing in the renovated hall held special meaning for him. Maestro Kamioka chose an all-Beethoven program for this concert, performing Symphonies No. 4 and No. 7, plus Piano Concerto No. 2 with soloist Ms. Kyoko Tabe at the piano. Through his program choice, Maestro Kamioka highlighted the charm and appeal of his orchestra.
Listening to the concert from a balcony seat, I was drawn into the music through the performance and the sense of presence created by the hall’s acoustics. At the close of the concert, the audience’s applause continued for what seemed like forever. Many people had waited a long time for the hall’s renewal project to start and then—while the hall was closed—to complete. Now that they could hear the wonderful results, their applause was heartfelt and strong.
Maestro Kamioka says he wants to find more opportunities to perform in the renewed Chigasaki City Cultural Hall Large Hall. This is a good indication that the hall will become a favorite local hall for the people of Chigasaki City and that the hall will be a popular and vibrant venue for many years to come.
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