Glenn Howells Architects create "dance factory" for English National Ballet

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.
– Glenn Howells

The English National Ballet (ENB) has moved into a new £27m ($33m, €30m) home in London designed by Glenn Howells Architects (GHA).

The 93,000sq ft (8,600sq m) building combines a number of previously separate ENB campuses into what it calls "a multi-faceted 'dance factory'".

The ground floor is conceived to be a gathering and circulation space, with a public café and an exhibition area.

Seven full-sized rehearsal studios include a main production studio with a stage and a 25m (82ft)-tall fly tower.

There are also dedicated spaces for engagement and learning, as well as the English National Ballet School, housed on the top two floors.

Elsewhere, there is a green room, treatment rooms, stretching areas and back-of-house spaces for technicians, set builders and costume creators.

Extra white translucent glass covering an area of 3,600sq m (38,750sq ft) allows natural light into the building and provides a connection between the inside and outside, with passersby able to see glimpses of rehearsals and other activities.

GHA was briefed to create a new focal point for dance in London and says one challenge was to fit the required facilities onto the site with a relatively limited budget.

“We achieved this by creating something that is elegant, pared-back and beautiful, but also hard-working," said Glenn Howells, director and founder of GHA. "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."

English National Ballet  London  Glenn Howells Architects  dance 
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The English National Ballet (ENB) has moved into a new £27m ($33m, €30m) home in London designed by Glenn Howells Architects (GHA). The 93,000sq ft (8,600sq m) building combines a number of previously separate ENB campuses into what it calls "a multi-faceted 'dance factory'". The ground floor is conceived to be a gathering and circulation space, with a public café and an exhibition area. Seven full-sized rehearsal studios include a
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Passersby can see glimpses of rehearsals and other activities inside / Hufton + Crow
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Glenn Howells Architects create "dance factory" for English National Ballet
The English National Ballet (ENB) has moved into a new £27m ($33m, €30m) home in London designed by Glenn Howells Architects (GHA).