Lucerne Festival Ark Nova 2017 in Tokyo Midtown

September 19(Tue) - October 4(Wed)


The Ark Nova, a massive mobile concert hall standing 18m high, 30m across and 36m deep
and which was created to support recovery from the East Japan Earthquake, appears in Tokyo for the first time


[Period] September 19 (Tues) - October 4 (Wed)
*Cancelled in the event of bad weather. The details of each event will be announced at a later date.
[Location] Grass Square
[Held By] Tokyo Midtown
[With Special Cooperation From] The Lucerne Festival



The Ark Nova was planned by the long-standing Swiss music festival, the Lucerne Festival, in order to help support recovery from the East Japan Earthquake. Produced by world-renowned architect Arata Isozaki and English sculptor Anish Kapoor, the Ark is a massive mobile concert hall that stands 18m high, 30m across and 36m deep and has a capacity of 494 people. It has been erected a total of three times in the past, between 2013 and 2015, in Matsushima, Sendai and Fukushima, holding concerts and workshops and attracting a total of 19,000 visitors.
Tokyo Midtown fully supports this undertaking, and this fall, six and a half years since the disaster, will host the Ark Nova for a period of 16 days. During this time the interior will be open to the public on certain days, allowing images of the events held in the affected regions to be viewed along with concerts and movie screenings.


Lucerne Festival Ark Nova

The Ark Nova was born from the desire to aid the recovery from the Japan East Earthquake by bringing music to the disaster region. On March 12 2011, the day after the earthquake, Michael Haefliger, the Executive and Artistic Director of the Lucerne Festival, called Masahide Kajimoto (president of KAJIMOTO) to check that he was OK. This phone call would eventually lead to a collaboration with world-renowned architect Arata Isozaki and English sculptor Anish Kapoor, and the subsequent creation of the 18m high, 30m across and 36m deep mobile concert hall named the "Ark Nova", (meaning "new ark" in Latin).
A PVC coated polyester film swells to form an impressive dome after around 1 hour of air being pumped into it, but can also be folded up when deflated and transported around by truck. In order to preserve the memory of the disaster, some of the benches placed inside the hall were created from cedar felled from the path leading to Zuigan-ji Temple due to salt damage and subsidence caused by the tsunami, and with the participation of regular people from the area in workshops held under the supervision of the Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture "Ishinomaki Laboratory".
The Ark has been erected a total of three times in the past. The first was in Matsushima Town, Miyagi Prefecture in August 2013, followed by Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture in November 2014 and then Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture in October 2015, attracting a total of 19,000 visitors. With a capacity for 494 people, the hall played host to many performances, centered in classical music.
Tokyo Midtown fully supports the desire of the Lucerne Festival to also erect the Ark Nova in places outside of the disaster affected Tohoku region, in order to help keep the East Japan Earthquake and its ongoing aftermath fresh in people's minds, and thus we have decided to bring the architecturally-speaking also very well received Ark Nova to Tokyo Midtown, the town of design and art.

Founders: Michael Haefliger (Lucerne Festival Executive and Artistic Director), Masahide Kajimoto (Chairman of Ark Nova Executive Committee, President of KAJIMOTO)
Basic Structure & Design: Anish Kapoor (sculptor) / Arata Isozaki (architect)
Architectural Design: Isozaki, Aoki & Associates
Planning Production: KAJIMOTO (for 2013 - '15 implementation)

Scenes from the Lucerne Festival Ark Nova events held in the disaster areas can viewed from videos below.

YouTube "ARK NOVA" :https://youtu.be/d-lur-y2Icg

The Lucerne Festival

As one of the premier music festivals in Europe, the Lucerne Festival is actually a series of classical music festivals that attract top class orchestras, conductors and performers from around the world. It has a long and proud history, having started in the ancient Swiss town of Lucerne in 1938; a place boasting beautiful visas of lakes and the Alps, and also known for Wagner and Rachmaninoff having lived there.
They hold three annual music festivals - "OSTERN" around Easter time in spring, "SOMMER" in summer, and the fall piano music festival "PIANO" - attracting more than 105,000 visitors annually.

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