The Structure of the Centre, a space built for art
“Music is architecture frozen in time,
while architecture is music frozen in place.”
Thus did Goethe, centuries ago, epitomize the relationship between music, dance, poetry and architecture, forms of communication made up of harmony, balance and proportion. The module, repetition, symmetry, and colours help us to “hear” architectural rhythm, observing the harmony of a building, just as listening to a melody allows us to “see” musical rhythm, imagining spaces in continuous evolution.
The main objective of the school’s architectural project was to develop the large spaces of the rooms and interior passageways, through light and colour. We wanted to maintain a continuous visual relationship between the physical activity undertaken within the rooms and passageways in order to perceive dance in its various guises. The use of colour becomes meaningful and significant, a sign and symbol for the project, like a “file rouge” that accompanies those attending the dance school. Like the façade, the physical path within, characterized by a variety of colours and the design of the platforms, is like an immersion in a sensory and emotional “aquarium” of the art of dance.
Thanks to a careful distributive and functional logic, and being able to reconcile the needs of the dance activities with current health and safety regulations, the new structure was born by recovering a large decommissioned industrial space, well lit by large extant windows.
From the entrance, which acts as a reception and secretarial area, a path begins that is characterized by the presence of an orange colour on the walls, which accompanies and guides users throughout the whole school, and onto which abut the classrooms, the pilates room, the dance rooms, the theatre, and the toilets. Near the entrance are classrooms of a smaller size, dedicated mainly to singing activities – both individual and choral, theoretical training, and theatre. Proceeding along the path, we reach a generous communal environment, thought of as a multi-purpose and relational space; from here leaves the long corridor overlooked by the dance rooms. From the corridor we enter the large theatre and the capacious costume and tailoring workshop. Finally, there are locker rooms for teachers and daily users of the professional school, while outside is a store for scenery.
Each room, designed to provide the best working conditions, presents a precise modular scan that is clearly legible in the internal partitions, where the fullnesses of the wooden walls alternate with the emptinesses of the windows, creating a rhythmic composition; outside, the entrances to the rooms are characterized by vertical stripes of different colours.
Particular care in the design has been dedicated to the technical aspects: the floors of the rooms have been made with platforms of sprung birch, in order to facilitate the dance movements and reduce the risk of injury caused by the type of activity, covered with carpet for the “Harlequin” dance; the walls feature bars for dance activities, large mirrored surfaces, and an audio system suitable for large environments.
On the first floor is an apartment, with 10 beds, designed to make the pupils’ stay cosy and comfortable.