News 19-06 (No.378)
Issued : June 25, 2019
Taga Townâs Central Civic Hall: âTaga Yui no Moriâ Opens
By Toshiko Fukuchi
Building Complex Exterior ï¼Photo Creditï¼ Takumi Otaï¼
Main Entrance ï¼Photo Creditï¼ Kai Nakamuraï¼
Building Entrance Viewed from the Multipurpose Hall
ï¼Photo Creditï¼ Kai Nakamuraï¼
In Shiga Prefectureâs Taga Town, a picturesque town located in the prefectureâs Inukami District, a new central civic hall opened in March. The new facility replaces an old civic hall that stood nearby. The new center is named Taga Yui no Moriâa name chosen from suggestions submitted by the general public. In this town that has a close association with the forestry and lumber industries, the selected name appropriately has the meaning and intention that, similar to how trees gather together to form a forest, so should the new civic hall bring people together in a way that connects with nature.
The civic hall projectâs architects were Maki Onishi and Yuki Hyakuda, two architects who together lead the architectural firm of o+h. Kuwahara Corporation served as the general contractor. Nagata Acoustics participated on the project as the acoustical consultant with a main focus on the Sasayuri halls. In its combined configuration the two halls have 306 seats. Like the civic hall, the Sasayuri hallsâ name also has an association with the natural surroundings as Sasayuri is a flower that is native to the area. Nagata Acousticsâ participation on the project began during the design phase and continued through the completion of construction and acoustical measuring of the Sasayuri halls.
Taga Town is located in Shiga Prefecture which is situated between Nagoya and Kyoto. The town resides in the eastern portion of the prefecture near the borders of Fukui and Gifu prefectures. The nearby forested Suzuka mountain range gives the town rich natural surroundings that in the past also provided a source of income through a vibrant forestry and lumber industries. The town has Shiga Prefectureâs most prominent Shinto Shrine, named Taga Taisha. The shrine houses the Izanagi-No-Omikami and Iginami-No-Omikami and is a popular destination for pilgrimage and prayer.
<< Archtiectural Planning Process and Programming of the Civic Hall >>
Taga Yui no Mori Plan View
Fixed Audience Seating in Hall No.1 "Sasayuri Hall"
Fixed Audience Seating of Hall No.1 and Movable Seating of Hall No.2
(Photo Credit: Kai Nakamura)
Hall No.2 with Partition Wall In Place and Movable Seating Stored
The new civic hallâTaga Yui no Moriâcharts a new course for the townâs publicly funded facility. Instead of being intended only for use by townspeople when attending or participating in specific events or activities, as was the case with the previous hall, the new hall has been planned and designed by both the residents and the architect with the intention that many town residents will stop by the new hall casually and on a regular basis. An example of how this intention is reflected in the architectural design can be seen in the dimensions of the hallways and walkways between the indoor spaces. The corridors have a wider width than would be expected if they were intended only as circulation passageways. Comfortable seating and tables dot the corridors and walkways so that the townâs residents can use these spaces for relaxing and casual conversation.
The residents of Taga Town participated in the projectâs planning process from its inception, with a diverse variety of the townâs residents coming together in a âTaga Dialogue Groupâ established for the purpose of discussing both aspects of what would be built and how the civic hall will be used. At these forums the townâs residents exchanged opinions and ideas with enthusiasm and passion.
In addition to holding public discussion sessions, people responsible for the project published a public relations magazine during the course of the project, from the design phase through construction and project completion. Ten issues were published under the overall title âNew! The Central Civic Centerâs Progress Toward Completionâ with information about lumber materials used for the project, construction progress and details about the interior of the facility and its utilization. In this way, many appealing aspects of the project were shared with the townspeople starting at an early phase of the project and this contributed to the strong interest in the project by local residents.
<< Architectural Highlights of the New Civic Hall >>
The new civic hall is a set of single story structures comprising a main structure and the auditorium structure. The perimeter has an irregular shape and most of the rooms can either be accessed through a garden or via a corridor that looks out on a garden-like area. The Japanese term for the layout is âgeese formationâ, referencing the V-shape of the overall layout and the corridor and garden spaces in-between rooms. According to Ms. Onishi, the civic hallâs architect, the circulation path matches that of traditional Shiga Prefecture architecture.
The building is a wood-frame structure. Of course, all of the interior wood elements were constructed from locally sourced lumber, and most of the structural and foundation wood elements also used local lumber materials.
The roofline of each room has a single slope. Viewed together as a single whole, the roomsâ roofs create an impressive visual image that evokes the lines of the Suzuka mountain range.
Many of the buildingâs exterior walls are made of glass. During the day this creates light-filled spaces indoors, and when the building interior is lit inside at night the warm light from inside the building gives an inviting and welcoming appearance to the civic hall.
<< Three Possible Hall Configurations in One Space >>
As can be seen from the accompanying plan view, the civic hallâs auditoriumânamed Sasayuri Hallâis housed in a standalone structure. This structural design was adopted because of the requirement that the hall be a fireproof structure. The physical separation from the civic hallâs other spaces also benefitted our sound isolation design of the auditorium.
The initial architectural design of Sasayuri Hall proposed a flat-floored hall of 300 seats. However, it seemed unlikely that the hall would regularly be used by such a large audience. Therefore, we revised the design to a hall with 119 fixed seats plus an additional configurable space where deployable stadium seating can be added to accommodate an audience of up to 306 persons. As can be seen in the plan view, Sasayuri Hall No. 1 has fixed seating and Sasayuri Hall No. 2 has movable stadium seating and is a flat-floored hall.
Between the two Sasayuri halls and between Sasayuri Hall No. 2 and the foyer we installed movable partition walls. Sasayuri Hall No. 1 can be used alone as a 119-seat hall, the two Sasayuri halls can be combined for a 306-seat hall and, when the stadium seating is stored, Sasayuri Hall No. 2 and the foyer can be combined to create a larger flat-floored space. The design provides the flexibility to configure the space into any of the three different sizes to adapt to many situations and needs.
<< Sasayuri Hall No. 1âs Acoustic Design >>
Sasayuri Hall No.1âs ceiling slopes in parallel with the structureâs roofline. We oriented the hall so that the ceiling rises to a taller height from the stage at the front of the hall towards the rear of the audience seating. The ceiling measures 6 m (approx. 20 ft) above the stage and 7 m (23 feet) high at the rear of the hall. As is typical of publicly funded halls, on this project we needed to balance the space and budget constraints against the clientâs desire to have a space appropriate for acoustic music performances. The hallâs ceiling heights achieve the clientâs requirement within the project constraints.
Sasayuri Hall No. 1âs ceiling has exposed wood beams, a feature that makes effective acoustical sound reflections difficult to obtain. To address this condition, we installed sound reflection panels in between each pair of beams. The hallâs interior beams are made of cedar and the sound reflection panels are OSB (oriented strand board) engineered wood, all locally sourced.
The stage can be adapted to several configurations by opening or closing the stage side panels or adding stage curtains. This flexible design means that the hall can easily be used for ceremonies, lectures and panel discussions as well as for concerts and other kinds of performances and events. When the side panels are in the closed position, the hallâs reverberation time measures 1.4 seconds (at 500 Hz, with the hall seating empty). This is an appropriate reverberation time for choral and similar acoustic music performances.
Regarding sound isolation in Sasayuri Hall No. 1, an item of interest is the attention we gave to ensure that rain on the wood roof would not generate annoying noise inside the hall. To prevent this from occuring, we specified an increase in the mass of both the roof and ceiling materials and the use of sound absorbing materials during construction. These measures successfully addressed the concern.
When I enter the Taga Yui no Mori space, I instantly feel a kind of nostalgia. Something endearing fills my consiousness. I sincerely hope that the space becomes the go-to destination of the townâs residents, that they incorporate its presence into their daily lives and that they make full use of the opportunities the civic hallâs features offer.
An article about Taga Yui no Mori civic hall can be found (in Japanese) on the Taga Townâs website: http://www.town.taga.lg.jp/contents_detail.php?co=kak&frmId=1204
MIT Plans New Music Building
By Daniel Beckmann
In April, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the selection of a design team to produce a new building for the Music Program. The Section of Music and Theater Arts is part of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and has about 1,500 students enrolled in courses. Music is the most popular of the 42 minors offered by the Institute, and about five to ten students each year choose music as a major. The section offers conservatory-level programs in Performance, Music Technology, Music History and Culture, and Composition and Theory, and has spaces such as classrooms, rehearsal rooms, offices, and performance spaces spread throughout several buildings on the campus. Many different ensembles are available for student participation, including choirs, symphony orchestra, chamber music, jazz combos and large ensembles, and the world music ensembles of Balinese Gamelan and RAMBAX Senegalese drumming. Music is also supported through the Emerson Program, which offers merit scholarships based on application and audition to fifty to one hundred students every year.
The Pritzker Prize winning architecture firm SANAA has been chosen, together with Nagata Acoustics, to design the new building, which will consolidate the faculty offices, practice rooms, recording facilities, and some classroom spaces in one building, as well as adding a new performance venue to the campus, a 300-seat âPerformance Lab.â The new building is planned to be situated on the portion of campus west of Massachusetts Avenue, adjacent to Kresge Auditorium designed in 1955 by modernist master Eero Saarinen. The new music building will occupy a part of campus that is the transition between the residential buildings lining the river (Baker House by Alvar Aalto is close by), the student services facing the Kresge Auditorium, and the Instituteâs main academic buildings east of Massachusetts Avenue.
The building should eventually encompass 33,000 square feet (3,065 square meters), and is planned to be completed by 2022.
MIT News Release: https://capitalprojects.mit.edu/projects/music-building
MIT Music: https: https://mta.mit.edu/music/about
Nagata Acoustics Inc.
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Los Angeles, CA 90025
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