Gifu Performing Arts Centre and Museum

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Syed Ali Fatima

Project Summary and Introduction

I wish to convert the Gifu Municipal Hall into a Performing Arts Centre and Museum, mainly catering to the three main traditional Arts of Gifu. Namely Kabuki, Noh and Bunraku which I will explain in greater detail later.

Below is my before and after drawing. Gifu Municipal hall is currently located between many large government buildings, offices, and many residential buildings. Within its proximity, there are not many art museums or galleries present. The current Museums in Gifu are located quite far from the Gifu municipal hall, as seen by the red buildings. The purple buildings highlight the schools around the Gifu Municipal hall which would potentially benefit from having a museum in this location.




The Gifu Municipal Hall can be divided into 2 distinct volumes. One cylindrical volume and a L shaped volume. Previously the cylindrical volume was an auditorium that showcased many types of performances and the L shape volume had many conference rooms and a dance studio. The programs in these 2 spaces were not related.

I wish to integrate the programs between these 2 spaces. I have kept the cylindrical volume as an auditorium but have modified it to cater more to the three traditional performing arts of Gifu. Also, to better cater to the traditional performing arts my PAC Museum will have both an indoor theatre and outdoor theatre. And i have converted the L shape volume into an interactive Museum that showcases the history and culture behind these 3 performing arts.

Before Axonometric drawing

After Axonometric drawing

Traditional Performing Arts of Gifu

Kabuki is a classic Japanese style opera. It’s very extravagant. They use heavy makeup and heavy costumes for their performances. Gifu is particularly known for kabuki performances and also Jikabuki performances, where farmers perform the kabuki performance for farmers themselves. These types of performances are held both on formal auditoriums and make shift stages with wooden planks. As for the stage mechanism, the main stage mechanisms are a revolving stage, where only half the stage is used for a scene and when it’s time for the next scene, the stage turns 180 degrees, and a new scene is showcased. On this revolving stage there is elevators for the performers called Seri, where the actors will be elevated higher during the performance. Another main characteristic of type performance is the hanamachi, which is another entrance for the performers from the back of the stage and also a opening in the bridge where performers will have a grand entrance from the basement.


Noh is a slightly calmer type of performance as compared to kabuki. They use highly elaborated masks to portray their performances. Like Kabuki, Noh performance can he held in a formal situation and also an informal outdoor situation, just like how they would for festivals. The main characteristics of the stage is that the stage is a square stage with 4 guiding pillars at the corners of the stage. Performers use these pillars to gauge their position on stage as they will be wearing a mask. Also, there is a bridge that connects the stage to the backstage or also known as the mirror room. This bridge is very important in Noh performances as it is an entrance for the performers and this space is used for the performance as well. The right side of the stage is used for the live orchestra and narrators.


As for Bunraku performance. It’s a puppet performance. Where around 3 puppeteers will operate 1 3/4 life size puppet. These puppets are often very elaborate in detail. As for the stage mechanisms its slightly simpler compared to the other 2 performance. The entrance for this performance is only from the 2 sides and also there is a short wall in front that covers the feet of the puppeteers when they are performing. The small stage on the right is for the orchestra and narrator for this performance.


Floorplans & Sections

Below is the floorplan of my basement. I have intended to keep the e underground carpark that was previously in the Gifu municipal hall with the removal of the stairs that lead to the first floor. This is to create a one way circulation in my museum which I will explain later. I have added an elevator lobby for access to the first floor. I have kept the basement of the cylindrical volume as a storage space which would contain all the museum storage stuff and also the stage mechanisms for the different type of performances, for example the guiding pillars for the Noh performance and the short walls for the bunraku performance will be stored under the stage temporary when it’s not being in use.

Floorplan of Basement

Below is the first floor of my PAC Museum. I have removed the outdoor carpark previously and made an opening in the cylindrical volume to accommodate for the outdoor theatre. These 6 drawings on the right shows how the 6 stage will look like for the different type of performance both outdoor and indoor. There will be temporary walls at the back of the stage for both the outdoor and indoor theatre. For the kabuki performance, there will be a permanent bridge for the indoor theatre and the revolving stage will be shared between the outdoor and indoor theatre. For the Noh performance, the 4 guiding pillars will be shared between the outdoor and indoor theatre. However, for the indoor theatre, the Noh bridge from the backstage will be temporary held under the stage and will be raised up when needed. As for the outdoor theatre there will be a permanent Noh bridge to the left of the stage. As for the bunraku performance, there will be 2 short walls at the end of the stage for both the outdoor and indoor performance. The seating of the outdoor performance also has been made to replicate how the traditional seating for these 3 performances have been, where people sit on ledges and also on the floor on these square like pods made out of wood.

1st Floor floorplan

Below is a close up of the first-floor floorplan. For the L shape volume, it consists of a indoor and outdoor cafe, shop, patio area, backstage for the performers and also my entrance to the museum. I have closed up all the pervious entrances to the volume and made one main entrance and one side entrance from the elevator. Visitors will enter from the main entrance and can choose to either proceed to watch the performances or go through the museum tour.

Zoomed in 1st Floor floorplan

Below is the floorplan for the 2nd floor which where the main museum is. They enter this museum space from the first floor and then enter exhibition space 1, where visitors can try out the makeup and costume for the kabuki performance, try making the mask for the Noh performance and then try puppetting for the bunraku performance. Then they can procced to exhibition 2 that hold important artifacts of the 3 performances and finally to exhibition space 3 which has information on the history of the performances. After they are done with this, they can take the stairs back down to the first floor and exit through the shop and cafe located at the first floor.

2nd Floor floorplan

Below is the section of my building. The right side shows the indoor seating while the left shows the more traditional type of outdoor seating.

Long section

This is my 2nd shorter section showing the L shape volume.

Short Section

These are some of my model pictures.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Overall, I wanted to keep the auditorium as a theatre as I felt it held a lot of memories for the people of Gifu, as it is one of the oldest largest auditoriums in Gifu and many citizens of Gifu hold memories associated with it. Whether they have performed in it in their childhood days, went for competitions there or even watched performances there. I did not want to take away such an iconic part of Gifu city. Thank you.


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