Za-Koenji Public Theatre
Toyo Ito & Associates

November 08, 2010 /

Suginami-ku, Tokyo,, Japan

Photo: Iwan Baan

Za-Koenji, located within a residential district, is a public theatre replacing the old Koenji Hall.

Because of the surrounding context and the acoustic requirements within the building, Toyo Ito designed a "closed" space, with both its walls and roof being constructed of steel plate reinforced concrete, providing sufficient stability, yet remaining extremely thin.

Photo: Iwan Baan
Photo: Iwan Baan
The roof form was carved out of a cube by 5 elliptic cones and 2 cylinders, resulting in a dynamic shape that expresses movement and lightness. The central axes, angles and coordinate positions of the elliptic cones and cylinders, were defined according to the height restrictions of the site and the height requirements of the internal programs.

Photo: Iwan Baan
Photo: Iwan Baan
With the halls stacked on top of each other a floating structural system was adopted with every floor slab, and walls and ceilings insulated from the main structural frame.

Because of the strict height restrictions only the small main theater Za-Koenji 1, the cafeteria, and the offices are located above ground level. The rest of the programs are placed at basement levels.

Photo: Iwan Baan
Photo: Iwan Baan
Photo: Iwan Baan
Za-Koenji 1, the Main Auditorium, is a flexible space, that allows for a range of different stage and seating configurations. The lobby is entered directly from the square in front of the building.

Photo: Iwan Baan
Za-Koenji 2, Civic Hall, is located on basement level 2. It is a conventional theater space with fixed raked seating, suitable for drama performances, dance, concerts, conferences or lectures.

Photo: Iwan Baan
The Awa Odori Hall, also on basement level 2, was designed for practices of one of the Japanese Bon Festival Dances performed during the Awa Odori Festival. This hall made use of its maximum volume in order to also meet the requirements for musical concerts and performances.

Photo: Iwan Baan
The Cafe Henri Fabre can also be used as a venue for drama readings, lectures and children's activities.

Photo: Iwan Baan
Photo: Iwan Baan
Large props and costume production studios, rehearsal rooms, film and music editing rooms are on basement level 3.
Drawing courtesy Toyo Ito & AssociatesSite Plan

Drawing courtesy Toyo Ito & AssociatesFirst Floor Plan

Drawing courtesy Toyo Ito & AssociatesSecond Floor Plan

Drawing courtesy Toyo Ito & AssociatesBasement Level 2 Plan

Drawing courtesy Toyo Ito & Associates Section

Facts about Za-Koenji Public Theatre

Site area:

1,649 m2
Building area:  1,108 m2
Total floor area: 4,978 m2

Architects: Toyo Ito & Associates

Design team:
Toyo Ito
Takeo Higashi
Takuji Aoshima
Hiroyuki Shinozaki(OB)
Takayasu Hirayama
Michiko Okano
Kentaro Maeda(OB)
Miya Ito
Rie Kigami
Leo Yokota(OB)
Ken-ichi Shinozaki(OB)

Structural engineer:

Sasaki Structural Consultants

Mechanical engineer:

Kankyo Engineering

Acoustical design:

Nagata Acoustics

Lighting design:



Taisei Corporation


Za-Koenji Public Theatre

Photographed by Iwan Baan

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

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