Two years after a major earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, architect Arata Isozaki and artist Anish Kapoor have completed an inflatable mobile concert hall that will tour affected regions (+ slideshow).
Japanese architect Arata Isozaki teamed up with Indian-born Anish Kapoor to design the orb-like structure, which is modelled on the inflatable Leviathan sculptures created by the artist for a past exhibition in Paris.
The 500-seat performance venue is designed to stage performances ranging from orchestras and chamber music to jazz, theatre, dance and art, and it will host the Lucerne Festival of music this autumn in Matsushima.
"We named the Project Ark Nova, or 'new ark', with the hope that it will become a symbol of recovery immediately after the great earthquake disaster," said the designers.
"Ark Nova obviously can't carry people and animals to escape from disaster, but we conceived the ark to travel packed with music and various arts, from the perspective of long-term rebuilding of culture and spirit," they added.
The walls of the structure are made from a stretchy plastic membrane, designed to enable quick erection and dismantling. To transport it to a new venue, the orb is completely deflated and loaded onto the back of a lorry alongside the disassembled equipment.
The designers first revealed their concept for Ark Nova back in September 2011. Arata Isozaki also recently completed the national convention centre in Qatar, while Anish Kapoor's latest collaborations include the 115 metre-high sculpture at the London 2012 Olympic Park.
Here's more information from the festival organisers:
Lucerne Festival Ark Nova 2013 in Matsushima Two years have passed since the unforgettable earthquake and tsunami occurred in East Japan. As time goes by and the momentum for support of reconstruction wanes, Lucerne Festival one of Europe's leading music festivals, has formally launched the Lucerne Festival Ark Nova in association with a Japanese concert management company with the aim of bringing hope through music to regions afflicted by the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck on March 11, 2011. Lucerne Festival Ark Nova 2013 in Matsushima will be held this autumn in Matsushima-machi, Miyagi Prefecture. International architect Arata Isozaki is collaborating with India native and UK resident sculptor Anish Kapoor to develop a mobile concert hall with a capacity of 500 people. In this hall and the surrounding area, called Ark Nova, various programs will be held during the period, blending performances of world artists, centered around Lucerne Festival, and musical expression activities of the Tohoku region.
About Lucerne Festival Ark Nova
Lucerne Festival Ark Nova was initiated immediately after the great earthquake by Lucerne Festival, the Swiss international music festival. "ARK" as in "Noah's Ark", and NOVA, meaning "new". In the famous great flood legend of the Old Testament/Book of Genesis, Noah boards his family and animals on an ark, and after the floodwater recedes, a rainbow is formed. In a nod to this story, we named the Project "new ark" = Ark Nova with the hope that it will become a symbol of recovery immediately after the great earthquake disaster. Ark Nova obviously can't carry people and animals to escape from disaster, but we conceived the ark to travel packed with music and various arts, from the perspective of long-term rebuilding of culture and spirit. We also recalled a key concept that Japanese folklorist Shinobu Orikuchi coined as "marebito (sacred guests)". This is the concept that "marebito" from foreign lands brought religions and festivals and revitalised society as a result. This could also be considered the principle of how the arts came into existence. Ark Nova will visit all over the disaster regions as a "marebito" and generate activities putting the spotlight on each location as it interacts with locals. Although the project was born as a result of the earthquake, we aim to develop a structure that can extend beyond rebuilding to create "ARS NOVA", meaning "new arts".
Outline of Concert Hall
The concert hall Ark Nova created by Arata Isozaki and Anish Kapoor is an air-inflated membrane structure which equipped with the necessary stage and sound equipment. The membrane can be folded up and the equipment dismantled and loaded on a truck, so they can be brought to each site. The interior is a single uninterrupted space which, depending on the arrangement of equipment, is a multistage format which can accommodate various events from orchestras to chamber music, jazz, the performing arts or exhibitions. It is envisioned to seat 500 during an orchestra performance, and is planned to have a width of 30m, length of 36m and maximum height of 18m.