This luminous, bubble of a building is an inflatable concert hall called the Ark Nova that has come out of a collaborative effort between the architect Arata Isozaki and internationally renowned artist Anish Kapoor and financial support by UBS. It is a refreshing idea that has been conceived by the Lucerne Festival and Japan’s Kajimoto agency to provide cheer and inspiration to tsunami survivors in Japan’s Higashi-Nihon region. The hall will seat 500-700 spectators for a program of jazz, dance, classical music, and multimedia art projects by well known performers from around the world.
© Arch Nova
The concert hall’s amorphous, playful form grows from a long entrance tunnel, from which its red stretchy skin bulges outward and upward. The interior is conceived as a single open space with the orchestra stage at one end opposing the seating and lobby area at the other. The form folds in on itself at two locations, creating interesting column-like structures which punctuate the space, giving it vibrancy and energy. The shell, which basically is the building is capable of being inflated and deflated quickly and can be folded for easy transport to and from its many planned venues. And for as creative and new of an idea as it is, with it’s organic form and temporality, one might expect that acoustics were something that took the back burner. That however, would be incorrect. The architect worked in close cooperation with Yasuhisa Toyota from Nagata Acoustics throughout the design process, ensuring that the hall not only inspiration to behold but also to hear.
By: Matt Davis
© Arch Nova