The newly renovated fifth-generation Kabukiza Theater shines brightly as if it has received a fresh coat of white make-up powder. The “beauty of white” is so deeply entwined in the Japanese aesthetics. To bring this out, the facade light-up uses total-LED technology, the fresh white of a balmy summer, the warming white of winter, the white in between summer and winter are created to express sensitivity to the seasons. The large roof that characterizes Japanese architecture receives a light-down from the top of Kabukiza Tower rising higher than 130 meters in the background. Through advanced optics technology, the light hits only the roof. Borrowing on the traditional ways of measuring time in the Edo period during which Kabuki established an impregnable status, the new landmark of Tokyo’s nighttime GINZA KABUKIZA is clothed in many folded clothes of light, gradually diminishing lighting patterns through the night from dusk to dawn. Being as crazy as I was for kabuki since my childhood, I never thought I would ever be given an opportunity to help out in this historic reconstruction project. On top of that, we also won a design award from IES.
Project Team : Kengo Kuma and Associates, Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei
Collaboration : Motoko Ishii Lighting Design
Dates : 2009-2013
Traditionnal theater renovation
Architectural lighting design