ARTS & CULTURE
09/30/2013 11:25 am ET

'Ark Nova,' The World's First Inflatable Concert Hall, To Tour Earthquake-Devastated Japan

From the outside it resembles a giant, plushy purple jelly bean, while on the inside it looks more like a glowing, colored seashell. Actually, this balloon-like form is the world's first inflatable concert hall, entitled "Ark Nova."

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Iconic British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki have teamed up to create one of the more otherworldly structures in recent history -- a pneumatic structure made from an elastic shell that can be quickly inflated and dismantled. We agree with Roberta Smith when she said "Anish Kapoor has always been a kind of magician."

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The Ark, which can house between 500 and 700 audience members, will embark on a tour through areas of Japan affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, hosting concerts, workshops, and other performances along the way as part of the Lucerne Festival. Performances include a workshop for local children led by Gustavo Dudamel and a Kabuki performance with Sakata Tojuro, for starters.

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The ever-adaptable architectural feat is now stationed in Japan's Matsushima, a locale still recovering from the natural disaster induced devastation. The team behind "Ark Nova" aims to deliver the promise of hope to Japan's inhabitants through the power of music and architecture, as well as restore a sense of normalcy amongst its inhabitants.

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