Yamaha Ginza / Nikken Sekkei

© Kenichi Suzuki Photography Studio

Location: Tokyo,
Client: Yamaha Corporation
Project area: 635 sqm
Project year: 2006 – 2010
Photographs: Kenichi Suzuki Photography Studio

© Kenichi Suzuki Photography Studio

To express the essence of Yamaha’s brand, Japan’s leading general musical instrument manufacturer, and materialize its architectural design, the basic themes of this architecture are set out to be “a building that exudes the feel of sound and music” and “the union of tradition and innovation”. To achieve the building’s concept image, which is a woodwind instrument that is placed inside a glass showcase, the connected three atrium spaces facing the streets are finished by wooden materials with curved moldings that resemble woodwind instruments.


The façade of the building is composed of the diagonal grid expressing the fluidity of music, and the gold-leaf laminated glasses scattered in a random pattern expressing the brass instruments. With this façade, a number of musical senses are tried to be expressed in this architecture: a sparkling and shifting sense of sound, a rhythm, and a sense of constant change through time. Gold-leaf laminated glass, which was made by sandwiching Japanese traditional craftsman’s gold dust between high-translucency glasses using modern technologies, represents Japanese images, in addition to an image of brass instruments. By hanging these gold-leaf laminated glasses with the diagonal cable-grid system, a new type of curtain wall like stained glasses was developed.

© Kenichi Suzuki Photography Studio

The building is a super-complex composed of various sound-related facilities such as shops, a hall, and music schools stacked together with three atrium spaces in its center. With its sophisticated, most advanced vibration and sound insulation structure, each space is interconnected and yet keeps its own, acoustically quite environment. Three atrium spaces, each designed with its own theme, resonate with the streets of Ginza through the translucent screen decorated with gold dusts.

© Kenichi Suzuki Photography Studio

To attain a finest space for acoustic instruments in this modern-designed hall, we set out two concepts: “the richness of acoustic resonance from the top” and “the sound clarity of musical instruments”. The side wall with uneven surfaces that uses the design of the diagonal grid on the exterior surface, and the ceiling with a form of primary number ratio waves diffuse reflected sounds in a good balance. Also the various reverberations of reflected sound from the curved ceiling make an acoustic space with a downpour sound from the top. By using the wooden materials and adopting various forms of instruments, the hall itself resembles the image inside of musical instruments.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Yamaha Ginza / Nikken Sekkei" 20 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=112205>


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    This must be the greatest building on earth, and it fits in perfectly with the skyline. Contrast, like a piano, polished.

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