New Arts Centre, Japan
As a contemporary interpretation of the mountainous landscape of Nagano Prefecture, the Nagano Civic Centre building is conceived as 4 large geometric volumes, or lanterns arranged in a cluster, each supporting and illuminating a specific activity within; 4 golden landmarks for the city - ‘A Roofscape of Lanterns’.
The auditorium, the theatre, the concert hall, the government offices and assembly - civic and city - are united by the cluster, thus all given equal weighting each with an individual standing and identity. At ground level the space is fluid, with an open plan arrangment of public information facilities bisected by key routes conceived as internal streeets. The primary public entrance runs N-S terminating at a raised cafe. An E-W route is intended primarily for the government workers. A subidiary N entrance is intended as a filter for the theatre and concert hall activities.
The building forms are established by cutting the full city block into 4 components, with the negative spaces generating the circulation flow. The building morphology takes its cues from the surrounding city structures attempting to respond sensitively to the established building blocks.
The skin is light to emphasise the functions within. The halls are visible externally by day and night, to provide animation; the building is for the public and is therefore animated by people.