A giant purple structure touted as the world’s first inflatable concert hall is ready to open on the disaster-hit northeastern coast, promoters said.
British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki created the unusual Ark Nova, a balloon made of a coated polyester material that has been erected at a park in the town of Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture.
The structure, which organizers say is the first of its kind anywhere, measures about 18 metres high and 35 metres wide when fully inflated, creating enough room for about 500 people.
It can be easily deflated and travel around the region to host events that “help bring people together,” a press statement said.
Wood from the area’s fallen cedar trees will be used for seating.
The first event will run from Friday through Oct. 14 and will include performances by the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and traditional kabuki theater.
The event was arranged with the help of Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival, a prominent gathering of world-renowned musicians.
When the March 2011 disasters wrecked havoc in the Tohoku region, killing nearly 19,000 people and sparking the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the tourist town of Matsushima was largely unscathed because of its protected bay.