The three major classical theaters in Japan are Kabuki, Noh, and Bunraku. Kabuki is a Japanese classical opera art form, with extravagant costumes and makeup, that can be traced back to the Edo Period, 1603. Noh, that can be traced back to the 16th century, is a Japanese dance-drama that draws on classic myths and history to present meditative performances with a slow, hypnotic rhythm. Bunraku, traced back to the 16th century, is an elaborate form of puppet theatre in which three-quarter-life sized wooden and porcelain figures are masterfully manipulated and seemingly come to life. Gifu is known to have the largest number of local Kabuki groups in Japan, however its mostly scattered along the south and east side of Gifu Prefecture.
Within a small radius around the existing Gifu Municipal Hall, there are many government buildings, offices, cafes/restaurants, schools, community centers and residential buildings. It is a self sufficient area with various facilities and amenities to carry out day to day life. However, there are not lot of art galleries/museums around the Gifu Municipal Hall. Moreover other museums were located at a great distance from the Gifu Municipal hall as seen in my before and after drawings bellow. Therefore, I propose to convert the existing Gifu Municipal Hall into a Performing Arts Museum, where it serves as a center to store and showcase the history and culture of the 3 main classical performances of Japan as well as serves as a place for performers to showcase their talent.
The spaces in the Municipal Hall can be distinctly divided into 2 areas, the cylindrical volume and the L shape volume that surrounds it. I aim to convert the L shape volume into the performing arts museum where it contains interactive exhibitions, a cafe, shop and backstage area for the performers. The cylindrical volume will be kept as a performing space, where the space will be converted to cater to the necessities of the 3 performances.
In the basement, the Carpark in the L shaped volume will be kept removing both the stairs leading to level 1 of the building. Instead a lift will be added behind the stairs to access the first floor of the building. The cylindrical volume will be converted into a storage area as well as a space to house the stage mechanisms, Hanamichi, bridge that connect the back of the auditorium to the stage. for Kabuki and the four pillars and bridge for Noh.
In the first floor, I have decided to close all the various entrances, and make the building be accessed via 2 entrances, one main entrance and one side entrance. Visitors can enter the Performing arts museum and chose to either watch the performances in the auditorium or to experience the museum tour. The seats and stage in the auditorium are altered to cate to the 3 performances.
The second floor of the Municipal Hall contains the 3 interactive exhibition spaces for the museum and a dressing area for the performers. The washroom is relocated to allow for a better circulation between the exhibition spaces. After viewing all 3 exhibitions, visitors can either take the loft or stirs down back to the first floor to enter the shop & cafe and exit the museum.
The roof of the building will be reconstructed to improve its structural stability.