The existing building was essentially a shell, however the blank canvas had a number of physical constraints. Loading docks, uneven floors, column spacing, lack of natural light, and a tight site all needed to be modified to provide the ballet company with an efficient and economical space. The loading dock pit/overhead door became our main entry. We relocated a column to provide sufficient space for the main studio, but placed our two smaller multi-purpose studios within the existing structural grid. Full dressing rooms, a “Green Room,” a box office and lobby/waiting area helped complete the ground floor. The existing height of the warehouse provided us an opportunity to add a second floor, thus allowing space for the administration offices, a board/ homework room, costume storage, and a pilates studio.
Using a mixed pallet of materials and details helped maintain an “industrial” feel to the space. While we kept a lot of the warehouse’s “hard lines,” we wanted to add curvilinear halls and ceiling panels to soften and mimic the graceful movements of the dancers who train and refine their talents within the warehouse walls.