Anish Kapoor’s Disaster Dome Concert Hall Ark Nova Launches In Japan

“I am honored to have been asked to design Ark Nova for the Tohoku area. The structure defines a space for community and for music in which colour and form enclose.I hope that the devastation can be overcome by creativity. Music can give solace and bring community together and in so doing can help us to see we are not alone”. – Anish Kapoor 2013               

The concert hall Ark Nova created by Arata Isozaki and Anish Kapoor was launched this week in Japan. The air-inflated membrane structure  is equipped with all of the stage, lighting and sound equipment necessary to mount ambitious concerts. The membrane can be folded up and the equipment dismantled and loaded onto a lorry, so they can be used as a ‘Pop-Up’ venue in Tsunami torn Northern Japan.

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, performing arts or art exhibitions. It is designed to seat 500 during an orchestra performance, and has a width of 30m, length of 36m and maximum height of 18m.

The giant purple structure is the world’s first inflatable concert hall. It was created to bring a feel good factor to Japan’s disaster-hit northeastern coast. The British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki created the Ark Nova donating their time for free. The first event will run from Friday through October 14, including performances by the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and traditional Japanese kabuki theatre. The event was arranged with the help of Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival, a prominent gathering of world-renowned musicians.

Japan’s northeast coast was devastated by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami in March 2011. It killed nearly 19,000 people and sparking a crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, the worst atomic accident in a generation.

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