Architect. Nikken Sekkei
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year built: 2006-2007
Situated on a small piece of land surrounded by narrow streets, Jimbocho Theater is an integrated project putting together a 100-seat cinema, a 126-seat story-telling theater, and a 300m2 practice arena for artistic school on approximately 300m2 of land. Despite the spiky armor plating the building is still easily accessible, yet to accommodate such a program bounded by narrow streets, steel anti-seismic diaphragms aligned to the planning height control planes enable both a light structural frame and maximum column-free space to secure seat numbers and create an external heat insulating skin. The black cleavage acts as both a heat expansion and rainwater-channeling device. The conscious lack of detail and raw material finishes reflect the nature of the actor as a canvas and revitalize the area.
The inner space consists of two main theaters , one on the ground level (Main theater), and the other one on the second and third floors under the management of Yoshimoto Kogyou (Variety Theater). The entrance hall and a waiting space for both theaters on the first floor to the third floor. Forth and fifth floors are Yoshimoto Entertainment lesson rooms, yet the offices are in the six floor. The external facing consist of minimal thickness of reinforced concrete for acoustic control, which forms the multi-sided shape. Then, the clad steel plate has been fixed on the external facings with no order (rather wildly), and with a gap in between the RC which acts as a drain gutter as well as tolerance for any structural margin of error. The materials that left the evidences of craftsmen struggling with the space and materials seemed most appropriate for a space that fosters entertainers in the making who are going to be facing the harsh reality of the entertainment world.