• internal
  • montage
  • external
  • external
  • sketch
  • sketch
  • sketch
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  • outside

General information

  • Home page
  • Location country
  • Year of construction
  • Short description of the replacement or dismantling
    Two years after a major earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, architect Arata Isozaki and artist Anish Kapoor have completed an inflatable mobile concert hall to tour affected regions.
  • Function of building
    Entertainment & recreation
  • Degree of enclosure
    Fully enclosed structure
  • Climatic zone
    Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
  • Number of layers
  • Type of application of the membrane
  • Primary function of the tensile structure
    • Rain protection
    • Space defining elements
    • Wind protection


The 500-seat performance venue is designed to stage performances ranging from orchestras and chamber music to jazz, theatre, dance and art, and it hosted the Lucerne Festival of music in Matsushima.
"We named the Project Ark Nova, or 'new ark', with the hope that it will become a symbol of recovery immediately after the great earthquake disaster," said the designers.
"Ark Nova obviously can't carry people and animals to escape from disaster, but we conceived the ark to travel packed with music and various arts, from the perspective of long-term rebuilding of culture and spirit," they added.
The walls of the structure are made from a stretchy plastic membrane, designed to enable quick erection and dismantling. To transport it to a new venue, the orb is completely deflated and loaded onto the back of a lorry alongside the disassembled equipment.
The designers first revealed their concept for Ark Nova back in September 2011.

Description of the environmental conditions

Material of the cover

  • Cable-net/Fabric/Hybrid/Foil
  • Material Fabric/Foil
  • Material coating

Main dimensions and form

  • Form entire structure

Duration of use

  • Temporary or permanent structure

Involved companies