Japan builds first inflatable concert hall

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

floating concert
Woah, that’s a huge bubble. The inflatable concert hall can hold around 500 people!

Whenever I’m upset or feeling a little down, I like to blast loud music from my computer and dance around the room. It helps keep my nerves low, and puts a smile on my face whenever the latest Taylor Swift single gets a funky dance remix. If anything, you can call singing off-key at the top of your lungs relaxing!

Anyways, British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki have the same idea. They’ve teamed up with the Lucerne Festival, a Switzerland music organization, to create an inflatable concert hall that will tour around Japan, bringing joy to 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami survivors. “With the Lucerne Festival Ark Nova Project we hope to give the people who are living with this situation something more than everyday pleasure,” Michael Haefliger, Lucerne Festival’s artistic and executive director, said. “Combining different arts and cultures, this project is a fascinating symbiosis of architecture, design, folkloristic and classical music as well as music education.”

So, how exactly does an inflatable concert hall work? Is it like a balloon or a bouncy house?! Well, actually, it’s neither! The mobile structure, Ark Nova, is actually a bubble created from stretchy polyester material that can quickly deflate or inflate. Inside the concert hall, wood from local cedar trees have been transformed into comfortable seats and acoustic materials! That means the ceiling and walls will have wooden beams that help the calming instrumentals sound so much better. Currently, the concert hall will feature musical performances from international orchestras, as well as traditional Japanese concerts.

The Ark Nova will host its inaugural (first) event October 12 in the coastal Japanese town called Matsushima!

Images courtesy of Lucerne Festival Ark Nova Facebook.