‘Ark Nova’, A Mobile Concert Hall For Recovering Northern Japan

Posted by Staff on Monday, September 26th, 2011

Ark Nova Concert Hall by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki

The Ark Nova Concert Hall is a collaboration between one the world’s most renown architects, Arata Isozaki, and artist, Anish Kapoor. Together they have designed a concert hall that is very similar to Kapoor’s Leviathan sculpture, featured here on EntertainmentDesigner back in May. The inflatable, large-scale sculpture that Kapoor created for an exhibition in Paris’ Grand Palais lends itself perfectly to a mobile concert hall. The Ark Nova will be traveling through the Higashi-Nihon region of Northern Japan, which received tremendous damage from an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

The full title of the project is “Ark Nova- A Tribute to Higashi-Nihon.” Even though rebuilding is underway in this devastated area of Japan, there is still a need to maintain confidence and hope in the people of this region. The goal of this project is to provide those struggling with the loss caused by the tsunami and earthquake with a sense of hope through music and art; and most importantly, to provide it now, when it is most needed. This project, initiated by the Lucerne Festival of Switzerland and Kajimoto Music Management of Japan, will be able to deliver musical performances to locals in different areas throughout the Higashi-Nihon region so that those localities will not have to rely on their own limited resources for building a permanent hall.

Ark Nova Concert Hall by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki

Like Kapoor’s Leviathan, the Ark Nova is basically a big red balloon. While Kapoor is responsible for the inflatable shell, Arata Isozaki is responsible for bringing together all the elements that go into designing a concert hall, including the shell, the stage, seating, lighting, and acoustics. In order to balance both design and sound, he is working with the Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics. In this project, both the sound and appearance of the hall play important roles. The visual effect of the hall is calming and screens out the nearby destruction. This is achieved by the same red glow that Kapoor achieved in the Leviathan, which resembles the color one sees when the eyes are closed and directed toward the sun or light source.

Once inflated and completely installed, Ark Nova will be able to seat between 500 and 700 guests for performances. These performances will be curated by a committee associated with the Lucerne Festival and will include not just musical performances, but also dance, theatre, and multimedia art projects from around the world.

Images: Ark Nova and Anish Kapoor

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