It is a fact that originality sparks are lit daily in the music industry. In today’s post we would like to present Ark Nova, a project that combines an unusual architecture approach with the desire to bring music to communities that were affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. According to its developers, the Ark Nova is the world’s first mobile inflatable concert hall. It measures 98 feet by 118 feet and features a rounded, organic design by British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.
Officially unveiled at the Lucerne Festival Ark Nova 2013 in Matsushima on September 27, 2013, the unconventional concert hall takes about two hours to inflate and can accommodate up to five hundred people. The benches inside the giant balloon-like complex were built by volunteers, who used wood from tsunami-damaged cedar trees at Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima. Designer Anish Kapoor stated: “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”.
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.