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double-deck house
osaka temporary theater

osaka temporary mobile theater for contemporary dramas

劇場「なかみせ」 'Osaka temporary mobile theater for contemporary dramas design competition'
Top 10 (collaboration with Yuka Sato)

2003
temporary theater(competition project)

structural design:structured environment
structural designer:Alan Burden

floor area:450m2
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Design competition project for a temporary mobile theater for contemporary dramas. It was designated to revitalize depressing theatrical environment in Osaka, where most of small theaters had recently gone one after another. The construction budget was 10 million yen.

Knowing this issue, I visited small theaters in Osaka by myself and was shocked at its uncomfortable isolated atmosphere, typical of small community where 'everyone knows everyone.' Then when I found a sentence in the competition brief, saying ' - absolutely bring the audience to the theater!' I thought there is a huge gap between their aggressive spirit and the reality.
Whenever we feel crisis, we should not lean forward or 'force' anything to do. Rather, if it is so, we should stay back and keep ourselves as natural as possible. Thus it seemed to match the scheme to start with designing the periphery linked to existing conditions. It was something like a place where you might not be too conscious of enjoying dramas. In another word, it is a place that audience might really step into the theater for the third time of their visit.

As a design strategy, we designed a big opening for the theater and a curved wall along to it. Potential audience would stop by at the cafe /outdoor foyer, and they might enjoy informal conversation over a cup of coffee with performers working there as a waiter or waitress. In this way, it gives chances for them to come across what is going on inside. We wished this set of cafe / outdoor foyer, opening and wall to work as theater preview.

As Nakamise, meaning exposure / retail space based on relationships between human beings, was originally started with business near temples and shrines by cleaning people in the neighborhood, simple and primitive act like advertising what is happening in the closed box can cheer up outer circumference with excitements before festivals.
For whom may or may not be familiar with dramas, whenever before and after plays, a generous place allowing any kind of person or happening can become attractive story as itself. We strongly believed that this would bring fresh air to existing situation and become a key for the future.