Sendai Mediatheque

Ever since its opening in 2001, the Sendai Mediatheque has been an iconic symbol of Sendai City, attracting more than 3,000 visitors and users every day. Being more like a park than architecture, people come together with a sense of freedom and generate a stimulating mix of creative and intellectual activities every day. Our biggest challenge, from the competition through the design development phase, was not to follow conventional programmes defined by functions such as a museum, library and so on, but to redefine and integrate them in a completely new software, called “mediatheque.” Discussions and hearings on the programmes were endlessly repeated with experts of various fields, authorities, and citizens from the design stage until the construction.

Through such unusual processes, the mediatheque was completed. Each floor was named by its feature. The first level is called “Plaza” just like an urban public park. The second level, “Information” is a general information centre of the facility. “Library” of the 3rd and 4th levels functions as a municipal library. The 5th and 6th floors of different ceiling heights are “Gallery” spaces which flexibly accommodate various uses for both amateur and professional artists. The 7th floor, “Studio”, is a space for people to create and watch movies.
The most significant characteristic of Sendai Mediatheque is the thirteen tubes piercing through the floors. The tubes are the structure by themselves, and at the same time the voids they create contain staircases, elevators, ventilation ducts, service ducts, intelligent cables etc. Although these elements are generally hidden in cores, in this project, everything in the tubes is exposed. Usually, building space is homogeneous, however, in this project, it is intended to create various flows of people, information and nature - light, air, water, sounds etc. by the effects of tubes, and to generate interaction between those flows and activities around each tube.

The Sendai Mediatheque focuses on new projects every year, and by attracting many people promotes exchanges between local citizens and visitors.


19 photos and 8 drawings

Building Activity

  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova updated, removed 3 media, updated 75 media and uploaded a media file
    Sendai Mediatheque
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  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov updated
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