Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall

Opening Year 2004
Location Kawasaki, Japan
Capacity 1,997 seats
Architect MHS PLanners, Architects, and Engineers
Owner Kawasaki City
User Tokyo Symphony Orchestra

MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall is part of a new complex planned as the Kawasaki Station West Redevelopment Project on land at the western exit of the Japan Railroad’s (JR) Kawasaki Station. The public planning commission, which began under the name “Toshi Kiban Seibi Kodan” (Urban Development Corporation) and is now named “Toshi Saisei Kiko” (Urban Renaissance Agency), retained MHS Planners, Architects & Engineers as the architect for the overall project and ACT Planning for the concert hall’s design. The redevelopment project included a 27-story office tower and a separate concert hall building connected by a multi-story, glass-enclosed shopping Galleria. A pedestrian deck facilitates access between JR Kawasaki station and the new buildings.

The concert hall’s room design is based on staggered blocks of seating placed around the stage in a vineyard configuration. The distinctive feature of the configuration’s design is that the staggered blocks of seating rise in a spiral pattern, so that the horizontal plan of the hall is asymmetrical. Large, sound-reflecting acoustical panels above the front portion of the stage and extend out over some of the first floor audience seating. The spiral shape of the concert hall’s walls, the overhead acoustical panels and sound-reflecting surfaces at the ceiling that we shaped to form an envelop around the acoustical panels, together evenly balance the sound reflections and the timing in which the sound reflections reach both the audience and the stage. We achieve the balance in both quantity and timing of the sound reflections through precise control of the shapes and angles of all of the hall’s sound-reflecting surface elements.

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