Internationally renowned artist Anish Kapoor has joined forces with architect Arata Isozaki to design an inflatable concert hall for Japan. The luminous red bubble, called Ark Nova - A Tribute to Higashi Nihon, will tour the parts of Japan that have suffered from the earthquake and tsunami disaster in early March this year.
The inflatable concert hall is a giant amorphous amphitheater that seats 500 to 700 spectators. Rising out of a long tunnel entranceway, the stretchy, bright red skin encases the oval interior. A ramped walkway reaches around the perimeter, and the orchestra stage is set at one end while the lobby area is located on the other end. The shell can be inflated and deflated quickly, and it folds up compactly for transport. The acoustics were designed by Yasuhisa Toyota, ensuring beautiful sound for the portable space.
Initially conceived by the Lucerne Festival and Japan’s Kajimoto agency, the portable amphitheater was conceived to bring inspiration and music to tsunami victims in the Higashi-Nihon region. Ark Nova will provide a program of jazz, dance, classical music, and multimedia art projects from leading international artists and performers to cheer the region’s victims. The concert hall will also be used as a social meeting place, for finding creative inspiration and new friends.
The Ark Nova concert hall harkens back to Kapoor’s orb-like fine art sculptures showcased recently at the Guggenheim, and permanently in Chicago’s Millenium Park. The uplifting program is financially supported by UBS.