The expansion of Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Kanagawa Prefecture is a striking game of opposites. Its Silver Mountain contrasts with Red Cliff, while its free form challenges the notion of a rigid geometric box. The two monolithic forms employ contemporary technology to meet the school’s educational philosophy and designer’s vision. Created by Kunihide Oshinomi’s K/O design studio based in Tokyo, the bubble building is clad with over 7,800 stainless steel panels designed using 3D surface analysis.
The dome shape of the Silver Mountain building features a powerful outline and represents a remarkable landmark of the Senzoku Gakuen campus. Such a peculiar silhouette is a result of the building’s functional needs. The eye-catching 3-storey structure designed to host mainly rehearsal studios is a reinforced concrete shell with a truss wall system combined with steel rod truss and molding mesh form. The exterior stainless steel plates (think 0.3 mm) were developed to maximize the use of regular size plates that measure 600 x 400 mm. In fact, the complex curve surface of the Mountain is comprised of 7,800 external cladding panels of varying shapes and sizes developed one by one to fill in the gaps.
Given the reflective qualities of the cladding material, the façade of Silver Mountain is a scenographic solution. It suggestively mirrors ever-changing outdoor light and weather conditions. Red Cliff, on the other hand, is a rectangular 5-storey box, which hosts offices, the faculty lounge and student lounge, finished with a random geometric pattern combining 3 different shades of red.
The third minor and almost unnoticeable element of the new complex is a light glass shelter known as Cloud. Strategically overlapping the main pedestrian axis of the campus, it visually links the metallic Mountain and Red Cliff to emphasize the entrances of the two buildings.
The interior of Senzoku Gakuen College of Music fully respects the exterior impressions. The silver rounded Mountain features a cave-like dramatic foyer space and undulating walls of rehearsal halls that benefit from acoustic properties of the rooms, avoiding any echo. The straight-lined Red Cliff features a quadratic layout, boxy furniture and regular geometry. Constructed on a site of 65,744,08 sq.m. and featuring 5,084,00 sq.m. of total floor area, Senzoku Gakuen College of Music is a bold work of architecture that explores such fundamentals as form, space, material and color.
Images via Nacasa & Partners Inc