The project site is located on the south side of Tokyo, at the foot of Ikegami Honmonji temple, well known for its five-story pagoda. In Japan it is considered as the head temple of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism, said to have been founded by a noble monk Nichiren more than 700 years ago. The land space surrounding the historic site of Ikegami Honmonji temple, atop the mountain area in Ota Ward, is famous for its cherry blossoms during the spring season. At the foot of the site, the town around the elevated temple flourishes in its act of revitalisation with smaller temples, cafes, stores, and a plan for a facility in which the residents of the area may present, create, practise, and study music. The plan is to present a variety of spaces for musical activities and simultaneously program them to be used at different times in various hybrid ways. The site itself takes the form of a trapezoidal shape, extending from east to west — while half of the site faces a narrow alley. On the north side, there is a cemetery and a mountainous terrain that leads up to the Ikegami Honmonji temple. To conceal the graveyard and the zoning ordinance from the residents, which is a building restriction on and below the cliffs to prevent earthquake collapses, no openings to the site were planned on the north side. While on the west side, there are temples and cafes — and on weekends, it becomes a walkway to the Ikegami Honmonji temple. The southeast side is reserved for the residential area. The building’s structure is spread out along the site in a geometrical fashion. The music hall is placed in the southwest part of the building, creating a space for circulation between the interior and exterior of the site: forming the foyer and entrance hall as the landscape space entwines with undulating hills and variations of elevated spaces. Atop the circulation area of the structure is a residential space, designed with a volume shape — an effect of mountainous topography effect, which has been shifted along the north-south axis of the site, symbolic to this project’s facility in connection to the Ikegami Honmonji temple. Shifting away from the circulation space of the architectural site, one may see the distribution of the private zones reserved for soundproofed rental and penthouse planned housing areas. The volume space on the north-south axis of the mountainous area complies with the urban legal restrictions: sun-shading and building height regulations (oblique lines), — while also taking into consideration the lightning effect in relation to its surrounding environment. The view of the residential area is designed to create an effect reminiscent of musical instruments and melodic rhythms — different from those of simply stacked living facilities — creating a combination of the music hall with the efficiently planned living spaces that occupy most of the building. Music Hall: The music hall consists of a two-storey building, with 80 seats in the theatrical hall, forming a trapezoidal volume of over 6 metres high in its southwest corner. The interior and exterior of the hall consist of walls designed to evoke a sense of visionary, rhythmic, and musical world. In the foyer of the inner structure, 3 brass-coloured stainless steel diagonal walls are composed with the lighting lines. The inner frontal part of the hall is surrounded by acoustic reflectors, while each of the large walls forms together into an abstract diagonal shape. To avoid the sound from overlapping, these acoustic reflectors and walls are not aligned parallelly in the plan.The concept of this structure is to create an experience of musical space in the surrounding of its unique location. In addition, the hall is also surrounded by a circulating area of glass surfaces and door entrances — to allow for multiple passageways in and from the music hall in connection to its exterior world. Music Practice Room:Similarly to the music hall, the music practice rooms display consideration for the quality of acoustics: the planes and ceilings are formed in a trapezoidal shape, likewise avoiding any sound overlaps. Additionally, an opening to the foyer and the entrance hall is created so that the music students could observe the music practice activities of others. Residential Space: In the centre of the building, the main staircase leads to the residential area — reminiscent of the staircase at the Ikegami Honmonji temple. This staircase is a symbolic aspect of the architectural structure as it reflects the sacred aspect of the temple. Various residential areas consist of sound-proofed rental houses and penthouses. While the main entrance is shared with the music hall space, to reach the residential area one needs to pass through additional entrance security. The soundproofed rental house is composed of an entrance, corridor, kitchen, bathroom, and a soundproofed living room — which may be used for a variety of purposes: music appreciation and practice, TV and other types of video-watching activities. The penthouse is the residential unit of the owner — who can enjoy the space made up of the lower part of the two triangular volumes, which are shifted to the north-south axis of the structure. The penthouse is composed of 3 volume areas with sliding walls, that allow for the maximum of continuous space to be used in an effort to enlarge the space as a living and dining room area. While sleeping, there is an option to divide the space into multiple bedrooms, for each member of the family or a guest. The large terrace space above the hall, together with the external landscape, is incorporated into the scenery. Circulation Space in the Foyer The architectural flow line is composed of an entrance vestibule and a foyer — which is used as an entrance hall circulation space, granting the visitors to experience a variety of areas within the complex from the outdoor entrance walkway to the indoor foyer.
Ryuichi Sasaki Architecture is an architecture studio based in Tokyo, Japan. We seek to re-interpret architecture's position within cultural practices that determine meaning, particularly within will of our era. The investigations traverse not only conventional notions of space, enclosure, and order but also the fluctuating frames that define spaces.
Ryuichi Sasaki/Principal, RYUICHI SASAKI ARCHITECTURE
1970 Born in Tokyo, Japan, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA, Bachelor of Architecture, Columbia University, NYC, USA, MSAAD
AR Awards for Emerging Architecture "Commended", AIA Japan Design Award “Grand Prix”,
Iconic Awards “Winner”, Leaf Awards, Shortlisted, International Design Awards, “Gold”, American Architecture Prize, “Honorable Mention”, German Design Awards “Winner”, World Architecture Festival Awards, Shortlisted ,Architecture Master Prize 2021, Best of Best, The OPAL Awards 2021, Platinum Winner, The Plan Award 2021, Winner, Business and Office Category