Chubu Cultural Center and Museum

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Kurayoshi, Japan
215,000 square feet / 20,000 square meters

A mixed-use complex in the heart of Tottori Prefecture, the Chubu Cultural Center and Museum is intended to reinvigorate the city center and region. The complex comprises a performing arts center, women’s center, museum and two major open spaces, the Kurayoshi Commons and an outdoor plaza. Both open spaces are connected along the property line between the city and the prefecture. The Kurayoshi Library, also designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, lies north of the plaza, adjacent to the Cultural Center.

The performing arts center includes a 1,500-seat symphony hall, a 300-seat multi-purpose theater, a large rehearsal room, and support spaces. The women’s center contains a communications salon, children’s center, library and seminar rooms. The museum is devoted to exhibits on the history and cultivation of the 20th Century Pear, the famous pear variety grown only in Tottori. The Center also includes a virtual reality theater.

The complex is organized around the Kurayoshi Commons, a public room that serves as a lobby for the performing arts facilities, as additional exhibition space, and as a forecourt for the women’s center, restaurant and shops. Its design is expressive of both the city of Kurayoshi and the Tottori region. The diagonal plan geometry reflects the various city grids which cross the site. The large wooden trusses that support the extensive glazing relate to indigenous construction techniques. The Commons and the adjacent outdoor plaza are ideal venues for public gatherings, concerts, fairs and festivals.