News 19-05 (No.377)
Issued : May 25, 2019
Starts Otakanomori Hall Opens in Chiba Prefectureâs Nagareyama City
By Toshiko Fukuchi
Starts Otakanomori Hall Exterior
On April 1, 2019, Starts Otakanomori Hall opened in Chiba Prefectureâs Nagareyama City. The hall is part of a new multiuse complex built at the cityâs Otakanomori Train Station North Entrance. The complex is appropriately named North Square 63 and is being developed through a public-private partnership that includes Star ts Corporation in the lead role among the private sector participants. The initiative bears the name âNagareyama Otakanomori Stationâs Public Land Utiliization Businessâ and, in addition to the hall discussed below, includes a hotel, a building with retail space and multi-family housing.
The hotel opened before the hall and the building of shops opened in between the opening of the hall and the time of this writing. The multi-family housing is currently under construction.
Taisei Corporation designed and constructed the Starts Otakanomori Hall. Nagata Acoustics joined the project after the key work packages had been awarded. Our responsibilities included comprehensive acoustical consulting services for the project, including general management of the hallâs acoustical design and construction, development of the room acoustics design conceptual and detailed design specifications, acoustical consulting during the construction phase and acoustical measuring and evaluations during the closeout phase of the project.
<< Nagareyama Cityâs Historical Highlights and Recent Developments >>
Chiba Prefectureâs Nagareyama City is located in the northwest part of the prefecture, less than 33 km (20.5 m.) from midtown Tokyo. The city flourished in pre-modern times because of the Edo River waterway that runs adjacent to the cityâs borders that brought commerce to Nagareyama City from Edo (the name of Tokyo until 1868).
Nagareyama is known as the place of origin of âshiromirin,â the precursor to todayâs essential Japanese cuisine ingredient: mirin. The city also has a few structures that date back to before 1868 that were used by members of the Shinsengumi and Isami Kondo â a police group and individuals active during the turbulent latter days of the Edo Shogunâs rule. In addition, the city has an historical connection to haiku poet Issa Kobayashi, considered one of Japanâs four great poets of olden times. The city has a memorial pavillion dedicated to him in a section of the city near the banks of the Edo River.
Fast forward to 2005 when the Tsukuba Express (TX) high speed train line opened between Akihabara Station in Tokyo and Tsukuba Station in Ibaraki Prefecture, with Otakanomori Station as one of the Nagareyama City stops (and also now, the station just footsteps from Starts Otakanomori Hall.) The opening of the TX high speed rail line brought Tokyoâs Akihabara Station within a 25-minute commute for communities along the TX Line, resulting in the rapid development of high-rise condominiums in these areas. In advertising aimed at attracting new residents, the city boasts that it is the town with a mori (woodlands) closest to Tokyo and a good place to raise children. Judging from the many young families moving to Nagareyama city, its advertising campaigns must be resonating with the demographic it tries to reach.
<< A Convenient and Stylish Building Houses the Hall >>
Train passengers exiting the TX Nagareyama Otakanomori Train Station wickets can see the hall immediately to their left. An overhead walkway facilitates access without the need to interact with street traffic in front of the train station. The hallâs information brochure states that the hall is directly in front of the stationâs north entrance and a mere one minute walk to the hallâs entrance. As pedestrians cross the overhead walkway they can see the hallâs outward angled glass wall and the white walls of the hallâs stylish exterior. The modern style of the architecture suits the atmosphere of this trendy and newly developed city.
After crossing the overhead walkway from the train station, pedestrians can enter the hall to their left and, to their right, the portion of the complex with shops and other commercial spaces. The first floor has a rehearsal room and two studios. The second floor has a help center for local residents seeking municipal services and an information desk for tourists.
<< Internal and External Sound Isolation Considerations >>
To enable some use of the rehearsal room and studios simultaneously with use of the hall we located the rehearsal room and studios in a separate part of the building. We implemented an anti-vibration and sound-isolating structural design for one of the studios.
The hallâs convenient location to public transportation means that the hall is near train tracks that generate both vibrations and noise. The TX Line runs on raised tracks at the south side of the building and the Tobu Train Line runs on above-ground tracks across a road adjacent to the west side of the building. A railroad crossing nearby also contributes to the external noise factors. To address the transfer of solid-borne noise and vibration from passing trains, Taisei Corporation studied the solution options and decided to affix anti-vibration material to the below-grade exterior wall of the building. Our post-construction testing and experiential listening to concerts in the hall confirmed the success of this strategy--sound from the nearby trains cannot be heard at all in the hall.
<< The Hallâs Shape and Seating Configurations >>
Two views of Starts Otakanomori Hall Interior
(Movable tiered seating set up)
Movable tiered seating stored
Removable chairs in front rows
The hall was planned as a multipurpose hall with a design focus on non-amplified music concerts and appropriate acoustics for a variety of kinds of concerts, ceremonies and lectures. The hallâs configuration is a flat-floored, shoebox shape with balconies at the sides and rear of the audience seating. The first-floor seating has a large section of movable, tiered seating that can be placed forward towards the stage or back toward the rear of the hall. When deployed together with the hallâs individual, free-standing chairs the hall becomes a 494-seat space. Alternatively, because the hallâs rear wall is a movable partition, it can be opened to join the hall and the foyer. In this configuration, the tiered bank of seating can be moved forward to the stage to maximize the combined flat-floor space of the foyer and the hall.
A distinctive feature of the hall is the individual chairs for use in rows near the stage. These free-standing and movable chairs have generous proportions that make them very comfortable. In addition, because the hallâs floor height under even the second row of chairs is rather high compared with the height of the stage, these audience seats offer a feeling of very close proximity to the performers and are excellent seats for both listening and visual enjoyment of a performance.
<< Highlights of the Room Acoustic Design of the Hall >>
Our room acoustic design of the hall targeted a design that achieves rich and full sound throughout the entire space during non-amplified, classical music concerts. For this reason we made the ceiling height of the hall as high as possible, obtaining a height of 10.5 m. (34 ft) from the stage floor. The architectâs initial design included a horizontal ceiling but in order to promote the propagation of early sound reflections we negotiated a revision to this design so that the hallâs ceiling follows the slope of the buildingâs roof. As a result, the ceiling is truly as high as possible above the stage and slopes gently towards the rear of the hall. In addition, we designed the ceiling surface to have a pattern of indentations and protrusions that also benefit the generation of early sound reflections.
Another change that we negotiated with the architect concerned the initial concept of numerous openings in the ceiling. The architectâs intention was to create an ambience of light streaming through trees in a forest. However, these openings could not be well-integrated into an effective acoustical design where we desired to have a solid expanse of sound-reflecting surface area. Thankfully for the hallâs acoustics the architect agreed to eliminate the skylight openings from the hallâs design.
We avoided having parallel walls for the hallâs side walls by tilting them outward slightly by an angle of 2 degrees. Additionally, for the finish surface of these walls we chose a random patterned, ribbed material to promote diffusion of the sound reflections so that they are pleasant to the human ear.
<< The Hallâs Stage and Sound System >>
The interior design of the hall keeps all of the stage and sound system equipmentâincluding the battens, lighting and loudspeakersâexposed to view for a slightly industrial look. A stage curtain can be added if requested for a productionâs needs.
To support adjustments to the hallâs sound reverberation time, we added curtains to the side walls that can be kept retracted or extended to add a sound-absorbing element to the space. When the curtains are retracted the hallâs reverberation time measures 1.6 seconds and 1.1 seconds when the curtains are extended (both values at 500 Hz, calculated based on all seats occupied)
<< Pre-Opening Band Concert and Inaugural Tenor Recital >>
At the project completion ceremony before the hallâs official opening we were treated to a concert in the hall by the Nagareyama City Northern Middle School Brass Band Club, which has the distinction of being the winner of the highest award at the Japan Wind Orchestra Contest National Competition held by the Japan Musical Education and Culture Promotion Society. The bandâs polished performance of a medley of orchestral wind works, popular music and dance music filled the hall and the audience with lively energy and spirit.
To celebrate its opening, the hall has a series of concerts planned throughout the coming year. The first concert featured a recital by tenor Ken Nishikiori. Mr. Nishikiori sang both Japanese popular songs and arias and ended the evening with renditions of songs by the British group Queen. During this finale Mr. Nishikiori jumped down from the stage with his guitar and strode through the audience while pausing to chat as part of his performance. It seemed like just minutes had elapsed when his two-hour performance came to a close amidst the most enthusiastic audience applause.
The opening series of concerts has dates scheduled for many months into the future. This new hall is a delightful and refreshing destination for a weekend activity. I encourage everyone to come and visit the new hall here!
The Starts Otakanomori Hall website is: https://otakanomorihall.com/
Introducing the Gasteig Interim Philharmonic Hall
By Erik Bergal
The Munich Philharmonic has made their home in the Gasteig cultural center since it opened in 1985 in the heart of Munich. The complex additionally hosts the adult education center, city library, and State University of Music and Theater, totaling over 1,800 events per year.
As early as 2015, the city council commissioned architectural and acoustical feasibility studies and finally decided in 2017 that a more substantial renovation of the complex was necessary. This process will understandably take several years, during which time the Munich Philharmonic, currently directed by Valery Gergiev as the chief conductor, will need a hall to continue their concert series and rehearsal activities. For this purpose and to house the administrative staff, plans were made with the support of the city for a temporary campus in the southern Sendling district of Munich.
Overview of the Gasteig Interim Quartier
The audience enters through the gabled building
before moving into the Philharmonic Hall to its left
(rendering courtesy of gmp Architects)
The Interim Quartier (IQ) is a campus of several buildings designed by Architects von Gerkan, Marg, and Partners (gmp). Nagata Acoustics was chosen to design the room acoustics of the Philharmonic Hall in a dedicated acoustical competition process in the spring of 2018. Building acoustics for the IQ is being completed by Müller-BBM and theatrical design is by Kunkel Consulting.
The IQ site is easily accessible from the Brüdermühlstrase U-Bahn station, backs up to a large park, and is only a 15-minute bike ride along the Isar River from the existing Gasteig complex. A total of âŹ90.4 Million has been approved for the concert hall and the other buildings completing the IQ.
The design features more than 1,800 seats in the concert configuration for performances and rehearsals by the Munich Philharmonic and touring ensembles. For crossover events, the stage apron can be lowered and the seat count expanded to over 1900.
Hall Interior (rendering courtesy of gmp Architects)
Interior Elevation (rendering courtesy of gmp Architects)
In footprint, the hall is rectangular with the two corners on either side of the stage cut off. The audience will be split between the main floor, terrace, and single balcony level. Approximately 100 upstage and stage side seats are planned to accommodate a chorus. Public access to the hall will be through a renovated, existing building which was previously used by Munich public works, called Halle E.
Since the concert hall is intended to be a temporary structure, careful prioritization was needed to preserve the essential functionality of a concert hall. Mechanical risers for the orchestra were determined to be indispensable despite the difficulties in accommodating the machinery under the stage with minimal excavation. Concrete construction was avoided where possible, and instead, a steel structure with composite timber walls and ceiling was designed. Since convex curved surfaces which we would usually prefer for concert halls were deemed too difficult to prefabricate and transport to the site, planar segments were favored. To avoid flat, parallel walls which could result in acoustical flutter echoes, and to scatter the reflected sounds, a sawtooth motif is applied to all the wall and ceiling profiles.
As the design phases come to an end, we are looking forward to the start of construction. The opening of the Philharmonic Hall is planned for late 2021.
More information and ongoing updates can be found on the project website: https://www.der-neue-gasteig.de/gasteig-interim
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