Shin Takamatsu Architect and Associates Co.,Ltd. 株式会社高松伸建築設計事務所

National Theatre Okinawa

To encourage the preservation of Okinawan traditional performing arts, in 1996 the Japanese government decided to build a theater focused on Okinawa’s indigenous kumiodori dance. The traditional performing arts in Okinawa are basically premised on outdoor performance, and even today in ordinary theaters the stage is constructed anew for each performance. Therefore, during the design process I had many discussions with local actors, musicians, directors, set designers, and researchers, and had temporary stages built as part of my search for the optimal solution. The residential architecture of Okinawa uses a type of traditional exterior wall called chinibu. These perforated walls utilize a technical effect originally developed to protect daily life from the harsh island climate. At the same time, it may be considered an aesthetic effect that engenders an atmosphere unique to Okinawa. Paying respect to these qualities, the theater’s façade design took form as a renewed traditional expression for Okinawa. The term genius loci, which means “spirit of place,” is a very worn-out term. Yet, having visited the site, this term remained in my mind. “What kind of architecture would be like a large flower blooming with indigenous wisdom?” Here is the form of my response.

Site area
Building area
Total area
Completion Date
: Okinawa JAPAN
: B1F 3F
: 24,000m2
: 7,239m2
: 14,729m2
: 2003