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A hall for all

by Michele Koh Morollo on Apr 29, 2015 in Architecture
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With a bit of imagination, the roofline of this unique home appears to form the letters J-U-U-L (Photo courtesy of Kouji Okamoto)

With a bit of imagination, the roofline of this unique home appears to form the letters J-U-U-L (Photo courtesy of Kouji Okamoto)

With dramatic U-shaped ceilings designed for enhanced acoustic capacity, Juul House is a home equipped with a concert hall and gallery space, where members of the local community can gather to enjoy good music and art

Use a little imagination, and the letters J-U-U-L appear when you look upon the façade of this residence, located in a suburb of Fukuoka City in Japan. Designed by Fukuoka-based firm NKS Architects, and aptly named Juul House, the highlight of this residence is no doubt the two swooping U-shaped ceilings that were built to improve the acoustics in the living room, which is frequently used for community musical recitals.

The swooping U-shaped ceilings were built to improve the acoustics in the living room, which is frequently used for community musical recitals (Photo courtesy of Kouji Okamoto)

The swooping U-shaped ceilings were built to improve the acoustics in the living room, which is frequently used for community musical recitals (Photo courtesy of Kouji Okamoto)

The client, who works in the cement industry, is also a musician and local music teacher. His requests were for a small music hall which would allow him to hold concerts for his family and friends, and a gallery space to showcase the works of art that he collects. "In order to ensure acoustic performance, primarily for classical music, we focused on making sure the convex surfaces of the concrete ceiling diffuse sound properly," explained NKS partner and architect Kaoru Suehiro.

To control reverberation, numerous holes were inserted in the surface of the concrete, filled with acoustic-absorbent material. As the type of acoustic environment required varies depending on the size of the audience and the types of instruments being used, adjustments can be made by opening or closing the sound-absorbing doors and curtains in the room.

The rectangular plot on which the house sits has a north-south alignment and a river running along its south-eastern side, bestowing the home with stunning views of the river and rice paddies to the east, and scenes of the Chikuhou Mountains to the west. At the entrance of the house is a double-height atrium with a gallery space of raw concrete walls and a wooden staircase leading to the first floor, where the living area, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom are located.

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The spectacular curved roof was designed in response to the needs for correct light and acoustics on the inside of the home (Photo courtesy of Kouji Okamoto)

Tube-shaped rooms are squeezed into the spaces between the curving roofline, and fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows to bring in light and create an illusion of spaciousness (Photo courtesy of Kouji Okamoto)

Tube-shaped rooms are squeezed into the spaces between the curving roofline, and fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows to bring in light and create an illusion of spaciousness (Photo courtesy of Kouji Okamoto)

This is a preview of the “A hall for hall" article from the May 2015 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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