"If you follow us on any of our social media channels, you might have noticed a flurry of architectural images of The Dance Space being shared as the building nears completion. Click on our slideshow below for a taste.
We expect to receive the keys to the new building in July, when we’ll begin decorating and fitting it out in time to move in in the Autumn. All being well, we’ll be able to start testing the building with a programme of classes and activities from early 2022, with a full launch and opening planned for April 2022.
Whilst the building, designed by architects ShedKM, has become a familiar sight at Brighton’s Circus Street development, the interior finish has until recently been confined to paper plans, so we’ve been really excited to see our vision coming to life and hope you are too.
The sliding glass entrance doors that will welcome visitors to the space are now in situ and the floor to ceiling bi-fold glass doors measuring a massive 4 metres high and 10 metres wide in the Aldridge Community Space on the ground-floor studios have now been installed. Facing east, these will bring natural light into the space, while offering passers-by a glimpse of the kinds of activities that take place there.
Creating a building that as many people as possible can use is of paramount importance to us, so it’s brilliant to see spaces such as the three accessible wet rooms coming together. We chose beautiful deep green tiles to reflect the environmentally sustainable nature of the building.
We’ve been consulting with specialists in access, dementia and visual impairment to help us design spaces that are easy to use as possible. With this in mind, we’ve avoided too many shiny surfaces and have used different colours for floors, walls and surfaces to ensure as much visual clarity as possible. The passenger lift is also in place now. This will double as a goods lift, allowing us to transport heavy items such as sets around the building. And we’ve recently installed wheelchair accessible kitchenettes, complete with taps with instant boiling water to save on energy and avoid the need to wait for the kettle to boil!
Inspired by artist Raquel Meseguer, we’ve committed to offering resting space for people with hidden disabilities within The Dance Space. We’re in the process of carrying out further research to ensure other elements in the building are as accessible as possible too.
The Junkers sprung dance floors in all three studios have now been installed, ensuring the design of these spaces cater properly for the health, safety and comfort of dancers in mind.
And elsewhere in the building, our artists pods are taking shape. These will provide occasional overnight accommodation for visiting artists and in the next few months we’ll be looking at how we design these spaces to make them as multifunctional as possible so they can work as meeting and therapy spaces too. Next up, we’re planning how we can furnish the space with reclaimed, recycled, reused furniture. Exciting times!"