Ark Nova Project - Construction Site


Art Tower Mito

1986 - 1990

Ibaraki, Japan

Cultural Facility

Site Area: 13,941 sqm

Building Area: 6,874 sqm

Total Floor Area: 22,432 sqm

Official Web Site

Art Tower Mito (ATM) is a complex comprising a 100m high symbolic tower which commemorates the centennial of Mito City, a plaza, and three cultural facilities (i.e. a theater, a concert hall, and a contemporary art gallery). It is situated in the old district on an elongated plateau extended from east to west between the Naka River and the Senba Lake. A square urban plaza measuring 60m, to a side occupies more than half of the site. As part of an urban redevelopment master plan, the complex, with the tower and the plaza, was designed as a nucleus around which the city could be reorganized. It is expected to revitalize the old district which has recently been somewhat deserted.
The concept of the symbolic tower lies in the figure of an "endless" column composed of stacked units which are terminated abruptly at a certain height. Tetrahedrons with 9.6m sides were stacked, resulting in an unexpected outline of a triple helix. The outer surface of the tower is made up of 56 regular equilaterals and paneled with titanium plates of 1.5mm thickness.
The ACM Theater, the ATM concert hall and the contemporary art gallery are independent and separate spaces for chamber music and contemporary art exhibitions, but are at the same time interconnected by a common entrance hall where a pipe organ is installed for occasional concerts. The space under the plaza contains a parking lot for 250 cars, rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, and art archives. A concert hall, a theater, and an entrance hall are arranged contiguously from the south-east conner of the plaza clockwise facing the road on the west side. Behind a cascade, administrative offices and a restaurant are arranged on the ground floor facing the north road, and the gallery for contemporary art is located on the second floor. The "urban plaza" is accessible from all directions.