English National Ballet

  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow
  • © Hufton & Crow

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Award

Region

Greater London

Local Authority Area

Tower Hamlets

Information about this scheme

This purpose built ‘dance factory’ in London City Island is a creative space for making and dancing that serves as a new focal point for ballet in London. Wrapped in distinctive, translucent white cladding, which allows passers-by to catch glimpses of the professional dancers as they rehearse, the new centre for dance provides world-class studio, costume, medical and production facilities. These include seven full-sized rehearsal studios, dedicated engagement and learning spaces, as well as English National Ballet School which is accommodated on the top two floors and includes offices for over 200 staff. The unique main production studio features a stage space and a five-storey, 25m tall fly tower which is also used for ENB’s outreach programme with local schools and other stakeholders. It also gives ENB the ability to rent out spaces thus increasing the company’s financial stability at a time of diminishing public funds.  The other facilities are arranged over three upper levels, and the building is topped with a green roof. Rehearsal studios all include an external clear glazed viewing window to help welcome the outside in. The main challenge was providing the required extensive range of flexible, state-of-the-art facilities on a narrow site, with a comparatively challenging budget. This was achieved by creating something that is both pared-back and elegant, but also hard working, with its character defined by a celebration of exposed raw materials such as concrete ceilings and translucent glass walls. The limited material palette and the use of standard, off the shelf, hardworking components has helped to ensure that the building met the budget. The ground floor is designed as a lively circulation space, with a public café and exhibition space encouraging interaction between the school and the company. The building transforms the way in which the organisation honours the original vision set out by founders Alicia Markova & Anton Dolin, whose aim was to take classical ballet of the highest quality to the widest possible audience.

Credits

Architect

Glenn Howells Architects

Client

English National Ballet

Development Manager

Ballymore

Main Contractor

BW

Project Manager

(FIT OUT) Pulse Associates Ltd

Project Manager

(FIT OUT) Lambert Smith Hampton

Project Manager

(SHELL & CORE) Acumen

Quantity Surveyor

(FIT OUT) Pulse Associates Ltd.

Quantity Surveyor

(FIT OUT) Lambert Hampton Smith

Quantity Surveyor

(SHELL & CORE) Gardiner & Theobald

Interior Designer

The Space Studio

Structural Engineer

(FIT OUT) Hydrock

Structural Engineer

(SHELL & CORE) OCSC

M&E Engineers

(FIT OUT) Hydrock

M&E Engineers

(SHELL & CORE) TB&A

Approved Building Control Inspector

Butler & Young Ltd.

Acoustic Engineer

(FIT OUT) Aecom Ltd.

Acoustic Engineer

(FIT OUT) IDIBRI

Acoustic Consultant

(SHELL & CORE) Hoare Lea

Landscape Architect

Chris Blandford Associates

Landscape Architect

Camlins

Lighting Design

(FIT OUT) Hydrock

Lighting Design

(SHELL & CORE) Buro Happold

Sustainability

Eight Associates

Access Consultant

Access Included

Primary Use Class

Class D1c - Education