ARK is the ark from “Noah’s Ark” and NOVA means “new”. The legend of the great flood from the Old Testament / Book of Genesis depicts Noah taking his family and animalson the ark, and the rainbow that appears in the sky after the floodwater recedes. In a nod to this story, we named the project“new ark” = ARK NOVA with a hope that it will become a symbol of recovery from the greatearthquake disaster.Although ARK NOVA cannot carry people and animals to escape from disasters, it was planned to let the ark travel with various arts mainly with music, from the perspective of long-term revitalization of culture and spirit.
On the other hand, this project also refers to a key concept that Japanese folklorist ShinobuOrikuchi coined as “Marebito (sacredguests)”. This is a concept that Marebito from foreign lands, brings in religions and festivals to revitalize the existing society. This process can be considered as a principle of how arts came into existence.
ARK NOVA will travel all over the disaster regions as a “Marebito” and generate activities on each location as it interacts with locals. Although the project was initiated in a reaction to the earthquake, weaim to develop this project into a mechanism that creates ARS NOVA, or new arts, going beyond just a revitalization project.
The Concert Hall
Anish Kapoor, British sculptor, designed this concert hall and together with Japanese architect Arata Isozaki organized its architectural composition. With its concept as a mobile concert hall, it was designed with an air-inflated membrane structure whose form was determined with the intent as follows:-
"Ark Nova is a form that comes directly out of the work Leviathan that I made at the Grand Palais in Paris. It is a carefully tailored PVC inflatable, which has no steel support. The form turns itself inside out and thereby forms an inner arm that helps with the structural system. Ark Nova houses an audience of 500 and we believe it will have excellent acoustic qualities. It is demountable, can be re-inflated within a short period of time and we believe ideal for a temporary structure." - Anish Kapoor
Pneumatic membrane structure tends to, by its physical nature, form itself into a sphere, which would have detrimental effect to the acoustic characteristics of the interior space. The form created by Anish Kapoor successfully keeps the space from spherical condition thus avoiding the sound to be reflected into some focal point, and helps improve the acoustic characteristics of the hall.
Multi-form theater configuration system is adopted to realize various types of programs such as orchestra, chamber music, contemporary music, dance and educational workshop, with a stage, acoustic panels and lights that can be freely arranged depending on the program in this continuous hall space.It is intended to provide a comprehensive artistic experience by liberating the conventional relationship between audiences and performers, and by providing audiences an environment to enjoy music in a space unified into Kapoor’s art. To deliver the hall to various places with a truck, the membrane can be folded up and the interior equipment can be dismantled.
For an orchestra concert, with expected audiences of about 500 visitors, this hall will become 30 meters wide, 36 meters long and 18 meters tall.
Repeatedly collapsible PVC-coated polyester textile material is used for the membrane. The benches for audiences are produced out of Japanese cedar trees suffered from the tsunami and became stand-decayed, which grew in Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima Town, the venue for the year 2013.