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28 Jan 2014

Lucerne Festival Ark Nova in Japan


When news of the Japanese tsunami reached Lucerne Festival Director Michael Haefliger, he gathered a group of artists and founded the “Lucerne Festival Ark Nova” in Japan, featuring a first-of-its-kind portable concert hall. The inflatable structure was designed by architect Arata Isozaki and sculptor and designer Anish Kapoor.

The first edition of the Lucerne Festival Ark Nova was held in the unique movable concert hall in Matsushima, Japan last autumn in the Tohoku region, still recovering from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.  Musicians, conductors and artists from around the world offered performances and workshops in an effort to help the region renew itself both culturally and emotionally.

Michael Haefliger spoke about the project and its future plans:
We don’t just want to go around the world and do a nice show, we really want to focus on the region of Tohoku and focus the project here for three years. I think one of the goals will have to be to develop the artistic content, make it more intense, to build on the experience we had this year and find what kinds of projects would be best for this hall. I think we could have a more interdisciplinary project influenced by architecture design and evolve the artistic direction of the project. This first year we were very concerned with getting the building ready.

[caption id="attachment_39273" align="aligncenter" width="460"]Photograph: Lucerne festival/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: Lucerne festival/AFP/Getty Images[/caption]

Read more about Lucerne Festival Ark Nova project on

Read about Ark Nova at The Guardian

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Top image: © Isozaki, Aoki & Associates