Dance City Newcastle, Images, Architect, Design, Pictures, Architecture
Dance City, Newcastle
Tyneside Arts Building, North East England – design by Malcolm Fraser Architects
15 Jul 2005
Dance City Newcastle
Design: Malcolm Fraser Architects
Images © Morley von Sternberg
A new home for dance in Newcastle
Dance City needed to create an environment in a new building that would allow for creative communication between its diverse users. Their existing building on a nearby site (opened in 1991) lacked a central unifying focus, and appeared intimidating to first time users. Its location was hidden from view and while a significant proportion of people in Newcastle knew the organisation, many did not know where to find it.
The location of the new building along St James’ Boulevard offered the opportunity for Dance City to raise its profile in the city. The building’s external appearance reflects the nature of the two types of construction. The theatre and main west facing block are built in a staffordshire blue facing brick. In the dance studios the brick is painted white to increase light reflectance but elsewhere the exposed brick provides excellent hard-wearing, low maintenance, thermally absorbent surfaces. In the theatre the dark purple/blue characteristic of the facing brick will also provide good blackout qualities.
In contrast, the framed construction to the administration block allows the possibility for greater areas of glazing and articulation where required. For instance the cafÈ space at ground level protrudes from the main building line at the southeast corner as a welcoming and inviting gesture close to the entrance. The remainder of this block has curtain walling with coloured panels set behind the glass, forming a light, playful and contrasting treatment to the more solid load bearing parts of the building.
The social heart of the building
The building is organised with the highest block to the west, which contains the dance studios and associated activity. The second lower block to the north relates to dance performance (the theatre) and the third L-shaped block contains all administrative related activity. These three elements come together to enclose the social space. All the core activities within the building (dance, teaching, performance and administration) relate to this space. It is a space that gives a heart to the organisation. It is a place of arrival, sociability (the cafÈ opens off it) and movement through the building, linking all levels with a top lit atrium.
At one level the social space functions as a generous light filled circulation space but it is the social and creative focus for the whole building. Circulation routes to and from the different parts of the building are designed to overlap and built-in seats on these main routes encourage chance meetings. It also forms the ‘foyer’ to the theatre and has the capacity to be used for performances. The technical box has been designed with windows overlooking the social and dance performance spaces and seating steps at ground floor allow for an impromptu audience.
Dance City Newcastle – Building Information
Architect: Malcolm Fraser Architects
Location / Address: Dance City, St James’ Boulevard, Newcastle, England, UK
Completion: Sep 2005
Client: Newcastle City Council / Dance City
Dance City images © Morley von Sternberg from Malcolm Fraser Architects 240406
Dance City images / information from Malcolm Fraser Architects
Dance City Newcastle design : Malcolm Fraser Architects
Address: Dance City, Temple Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear NE1 4BR
Contact Dance City Newcastle: 0191 261 0505
Location: Temple Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4BR, UK
Contemporary Newcastle Buildings
Newcastle Architecture Designs – chronological list
Dance Base – also by Malcolm Fraser Architects
Newcastle Architecture – Selection
Foster + Partners
Newcastle Concert Hall
Gateshead Millennium Bridge – ‘Winking Bridge’, Gateshead
Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Comments / photos for the Dance City Building page welcome