设计单位 Glenn Howells Architects
Wrapped in distinctive, translucent white cladding, the new dance centre provides world-class studio, costume, medical and production facilities. These include 7 full-sized rehearsal studios, dedicated engagement and learning spaces, as well as English National Ballet School – previously located in Chelsea - which is accommodated on the top two floors. In addition, the building includes offices for over 200 ENB staff.
Commissioned in 2014, GHA was briefed to design a creative space for making and dancing that will serve as a new focal point for ballet in London. The main challenge for the architect was providing the required extensive range of flexible, state-of-the-art facilities on a narrow site and with a comparatively challenging budget. The key has been designing the building so that its character is defined by a celebration of exposed raw materials such as concrete ceilings and translucent glass walls.
ENB’s new home is part of a cluster of three conjoined buildings positioned alongside Hopewell Square at the centre of London City Island. The ground floor is designed as a lively gathering and circulation space which acts as the soul of the building, with a public café and future exhibition space encouraging interaction between the school and the company. The building also houses a green room, treatment rooms and stretching areas for the company, and spaces for back-of-house specialists such as technicians, set builders and costume ateliers to work. New costume workshop facilities will enable the company to create and adjust costumes in-house for the very first time.
The main production studio features a 10m x 16m stage space and a 25m tall fly tower. The other facilities are arranged over three upper levels, and the building is topped with a green roof. Rehearsal studios are typically 15 x 15 x 15m wall-to-wall, and all include an external clear glazed viewing window to help welcome the outside in. Medical facilities including a hydrotherapy pool and ice bath are accommodated on the second floor. The office, education and retail parts of the building have been designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating.
The translucent white cladding is a particular design feature, contrasting with the colourful surrounding buildings and allowing passers-by to catch glimpses of the professional dancers as they rehearse. This is achieved using 3,600sq m of Linit, an extra white translucent glass, which provides privacy whilst offering a hint of the dynamic movement of the dancers in the studios. Elsewhere in the building, glass and exposed concrete surfaces give the interiors a distinctive raw and pared-back appearance. The limited material palette and the use of standard, off the shelf, hardworking components has helped to ensure that the building can meet the challenging budget.
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