kazuyo sejima, the pritzker laureate who leads tokyo-based firm SANAA, has completed a major cultural venue in tsuruoka, a city on japan’s northwest coast. the building, which is topped with a series of sweeping canopies, has been designed to be as welcoming and inviting as possible. located in a cultural area of tsuruoka, the institution is surrounded by nature and is sited next to the ‘chidōkan’, a historic school built in 1805.

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
all images © SANAA

 

 

externally, the building is broken down into volumes that become smaller towards the perimeter of the site. this not only reduces the scale of the complex, but also helps it relate to its surrounding context. in developing the design of the venue, kazuyo sejima adopted a ‘sayadou’ style, which, historically, involves building a protective structure over a shrine or temple to shelter it from the elements. laid out in a ‘vineyard’ style, the site’s focal point is a concert hall with seating that surrounds the stage in tiers.

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
the cultural complex is located in tsuruoka, a city on japan’s northwest coast

 

 

the public spaces adjoining the concert hall have been designed as flexible volumes, which can be used for a variety of functions. for the design team, it was important to retain the previous building’s identity and character. however, in addition to catering to the needs of local students and art organizations, the institution has also increased the number of functions and services that it offers. both internally and externally, the materials used throughout the project have been designed be as tactile as possible.

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
the complex has been designed to be as welcoming and inviting as possible

 

 

other solo projects by kazuyo sejima include a transparent, walk through pavilion and a museum dedicated to the work of katsushika hokusai. see all projects by SANAA on designboom here.

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
the building is broken down into volumes, which become smaller towards the perimeter of the site

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
concrete, glass, and timber have been used internally

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
the sweeping roof lines are visible internally

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
volumes are filled with bright natural light

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
public spaces surrounding the concert hall have been designed as flexible volumes

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
the building’s focal point is its concert hall

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
seating surrounds the stage in tiers

kazuyo sejima tsuruoka city culture hall
the building is topped with a series of sweeping canopies

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