Kitakyushu Contemporary Art Center Yahata Citizen Hall Conversion Project

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Kitakyushu is home to a wealth of outstanding modern and contemporary buildings, so much so that the city itself might be seen as a valuable museum of architecture. Based on the creation of a new art museum, which would host events such as an architecture biennale or triennale, this proposal sets out to revitalize the city by making full use of existing regional resources. Instead of undertaking additional seismic retrofitting at great cost, this plan calls for the civic hall to be converted into an art museum, which would primarily be used by the Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu, as a means of protecting the existing structure against earthquakes. An efficiently arranged group of relatively small galleries within the huge, one-room space of the large auditorium would combine with a series of bridge-shaped flow lines to effectively create a quake-resistant function. At the same time, this plan would preserve Togo Murano’s original design for the building’s exterior and foyer without making extensive modifications. Compared to normal methods, this would be a low-cost project, which would simultaneously satisfy three objectives: seismic reinforcement, barrier-free layout, and cultural preservation. By giving the galleries a nested form, the building could be operated as a new type of museum, enabling the facility to use various display methods that would be difficult in a conventional white-cube museum. Coupled with the civil hall’s original structure, consisting of a foyer that surrounds the large hall, the three-fold nested form of the galleries will make it possible to control the facility’s overall thermal environment and natural lighting while also reducing the environmental load.

location Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka
principal use Museum
completion date estimated in 2018
total floor area 7969m2 (additional area 2237m2)
structure reinforced concrete, steel frame
1 basement, 5 stories