Minghui Ke


The project proposes an open-air Kabuki theatre for Kabuki performance during the winter festival in Shirakawago. This traditional Japanese performance art is facing a challenge of how to regenerate itself from its dereliction. The project questions how does “time” mean to the ‘slowness art’ Kabuki under the context of contemporary Japanese life style is rapidly changing everyday?

The historical development of Kabuki performance as an art form has a close relationship with the evolution of Kabuki theatre architecture form. The exploration and analysis of traditional Kabuki performance with its architectural form, particularly in the aspects of landscape and performance stages is the starting point of the project. 

A new type of open-air Kabuki theatre was proposed to bridge the traditional Kabuki theatre form with landscape together, creating the series of ‘perfoming moments’ to regenerate this traditional Japanese performance type. The layout of building is reconstructed by the emphasis of courtyard space and corridor spaces. The kabuki performance is very steady with slow movement and long playtime.

©2019 by UNIT 17, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL