Granship-Shizuoka Convention and Arts Center
1993 - 1998
Site Area: 36,009 sqmBuilding Area: 13,647 sqmTotal Floor Area: 60,630 sqm
Official Web Site
A plan to develop a new urban center on land formerly belonging to Japan Railway and located halfway between Shizuoka and Shimizu was studied for many years. It was eventually decided to start by constructing a public facility that might attract further investments in the area. The project includes a convention hall (maximum capacity: 5,000 persons), a medium-size hall (capacity: 800 persons as a theater; 1,200 persons as a concert or lecture hall), an international conference center (capacity: 500 persons) and the Shizuoka Art Theater (capacity: 400 persons). Parts of the facility were used in the Second Theater Olympics held in Shizuoka Prefecture in spring 1999; today the building is used for different types of conventions. A new station was built to improve public access, and a large plaza was created in front of the building at that time.
When all the facilities are in use at the same time, the building might accommodate over 10,000 persons. Because of its nautical shape and size, the building was given the name "Granship." Until now, the only facilities of comparable size in Japan have been domes and arenas used for sports and other large events. We proposed a space with a scale and capacity matching those of a European cathedral.
The convention hall has a ceiling height of 60 meters. When completed, the nave of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona will have a similar height and volume. There are no urban facilities in Japan of this kind. Several measures have been taken to facilitate the use of this large space for different types of events. (1) The stage floor and the level spectator area have been made adjustable, enabling the space to accommodate various sports events or a central-arena or an end-stage arrangement; in addition, the large doors of the facade facing the plaza can be opened to accommodate spectacles that use both the indoor and outdoor areas. (2) Adjustable reflective panels have been installed on the stage to serve as a background and to help control acoustics. (3) The lighting and projection equipment and catwalks have been installed at a height of 20 meters; these can be folded and stored in the side walls. (4) The upper portion of the space serves to introduce (or cut off) sunlight and to soften it through dispersal; the net covering the surface can become a projection screen used to create dramatic effects in the space. The medium-size hall (theater) and the small hall (art theater) are arranged with their stages placed back to back. They share a backstage. If necessary, the stage space in one hall or the other can be made deeper. These two halls, combined, are nearly equal to the size of the Bayreuth Festival Theater.