Architecture – Finnish studios JKMM and ILO architects inaugurated the Dance House Helsinki. Located within the Cable Factory, Finland’s largest cultural centre in a former 1940s factory building, “the architecture takes its inspiration from dance, playing with illusions of lightness and heaviness,” explained at JKMM.
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“The building has a weightless quality with its two suspended steel elevations.” Like gigantic kites, a rusted façade emphasizes the heaviness of the steel while an adjacent brushed stainless steel façade ethereally reflects its surroundings and blends in with its built environment. The result – seen from a distance – is an architecture that almost looks ‘massless’ and immaterial.
“The building’s industrial aesthetic also reads like a machine. The state-of-the-art black box theatres are its internal engine.” A glazed courtyard will serve as an important shared public space for the Cable Factory as a whole. “Dancers and performers will complete the architecture.”
Indeed, the interiors are purposefully left raw and austere, providing a unique backdrop for the dance performances and art. The architects designed functional and versatile rooms that can be modified to meet various purposes and audiences of different sizes.
Dance House Helsinki extends the Cable Factory’s extensive cultural programming while reimagining and transforming the centre’s current functions. The added courtyard, for example, will serve as a new public plaza gathering all of these functions together.
“Promoting wellbeing is a well-established global trend, in which dance plays an ever-increasing role. Yet only very few buildings exist in the world that are dedicated solely to dance.” Explain at JKMM. The architects teamed up with dancers and Cable Factory workers. “The Dance House Helsinki will become Finland’s first landmark venue promoting dance at both a grassroots and a professional level.”
Photos by Hannu Rytky, Tuomas Uusheimo and Kaapelitehdas – Movie by Tapio Snellman. Courtesy of JKMM.
- RELATED STORIES: Discover more Finnish design and architecture on Archipanic…