Two years after a major earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, architect Arata Isozaki and artist Anish Kapoor have completed an inflatable mobile concert hall that will tour affected regions.
It is an air-inflated membrane structure which equipped with the necessary stage and sound equipment. The membrane can be folded up and the equipment dismantled and loaded on a truck, so they can be brought to each site. The interior is a single uninterrupted space which, depending on the arrangement of equipment, is a multistage format which can accommodate various events from orchestras to chamber music, jazz, the performing arts or exhibitions. It is envisioned to seat 500 during an orchestra performance, and is planned to have a width of 30m, length of 36m and maximum height of 18m.
From HORNUNG AND JACOBI ARCHITECTURE:
“The site of the holiday home in Rhodes/Greece yet possess characteristics and outstanding qualities, which we only attempted to frame with our design.
The site is located three meters above a coastal road, which is bordered by a natural stonewall that has been equally continued for our proposal. On the one hand the continuation of the found wall generates a high level of privacy, while on the other hand it relates to the given situation, which we were tempted to preserve as much as possible. The holiday home was designed for a couple. They wished a separate area for guests, which we mostly embedded in the given topography by integrating the shady tree population and without generating an equally visible volume.At first sight the typology of the building seems to be strange compared with the context. However this first impression will be refuted by the choreography of the building, which is precisely orientated at the context. While from a formal point of view the building relates to the found eroded rocks and washed away shoreline, the entrance was generated by an interruption in the continuous natural stonewall, which leads one at first „under“ the site. Skylights show the path up to the main living area. The generated twist focuses our sight towards the ocean, whereas the surrounding walls only serve as a frame of the context. Thus a spatial division of the different uses was avoided where possible, as well as a differentiation of interior- and exterior spaces. Most important was to prevent a limitation of the magnificent view.The challenge in this design lies in construction and the involved climate technology. The construction of the building above ground is planned as a prefabricated timber structure finished with white plaster, which generates an abstract link to traditional old buildings close to that site. The lightweight construction was chosen because it will be mainly used for spontaneous short-term visits. Massive building parts were avoided to reach a quick cool down. Through a mechanically controlled opening in the roof a well-known chimney effect will be activated, which starts at the massive base plate in the garage from where integrated cable ducts lead cooled air through the building. An additional cooling effect will be provided by the evaporation of the pool. The triangle-shaped photovoltaics on the roof provides the building with energy and enables a self-sufficient living. Areas, which are kept spatially open will profit from cantilevers, which keep these areas shaded from cantilevers, which keep these areas shaded.”
It’s been 20 years since Kowloon Walled City was demolished, but amazingly, it remains one of the most dense structures ever built. As many as 33,000 people crammed into the seven-acre plot, known in Cantonese as “the city of darkness,” before they were relocated in 1993. The Walled City was one of those urban anomalies that tend to pop up in disputed territories and borderlands. It began as a Chinese military outpost in the 1800s, and emerged as a kind of no-man’s-land when England leased Hong Kong in 1898. The Japanese razed the site during World War II, and after the surrender, it became a magnet for refugees when neither England or China wanted to deal with the burgeoning, ungoverned community. Kowloon Walled City, as we talk about it today, was born.In the years that followed, 300 towers rose on the site—soon, these buildings were woven into a dense interconnected network of ad hoc infrastructure. There was never an architect or planner involved, just an army of residents and carpenters who worked to fill the cracks. Without city services, residents got water from wells, and trash was hauled up to the roof. Every resident had an average of 40 square feet of living space. The Walled City was often described as a cesspool (“den of iniquity” was another favorite), but at the same time, the community was a model for cooperation: residents created basic rules to deal with matters of survival, like fighting fires. Schools, shops, and businesses (including those of doctors and dentists who couldn’t get licensed in Hong Kong) flourished. Crime was also a major problem, as you might expect—for a time in the 1960s and 70s, the Triads controlled the city. But as the SCMP describes, most former tenants remember it fondly. “We all had very good relationships in very bad conditions,” one ex-resident says. “People who lived there were always loyal to each other. In the Walled City, the sunshine always followed the rain.”In the mid-1980s, concerns over living conditions spurred officials to relocate the majority of residents, and only a few years later, the Walled City was empty.Today, the site is a park—a bronze model of the city is all that remains of its former residents.