Known for having revolutionized the world of contemporary dance, Wayne McGregor is now revolutionizing dance studios! The locker rooms and splintering, chalky barres with little elbow room are gone! McGregor’s new London space, designed by We Not I, is a perfectly choreographed masterpiece.
For this project, the pre-existing industrial-edge remained intact, fitting for the Hackney location. Already, the cavernous studios are being filled with forward-thinking residents, including The Bartlett School of Architecture, and innovation hub Plexal, which hosts a multitude of agile technology start-ups.
“At Studio Wayne McGregor, we share the belief that the arts are a nexus for intersections of knowledge. No walls, no restrictions, no rules – simply free,” said McGregor. “We wanted to create a making space that engendered these ideals.” The king of collaborations sought the help of the innovative We Not I to help bring the studios to life.
We Not I keep the identity of its designers and architects completely anonymous, and its enigmatic website contains nothing more than three words in the center of the screen: nothing between us. “In place of a brief, we received a proposition from Wayne, where the body and architecture are mutually defined at the limits of each other” said one of the designers.
The space is so large that a freestanding architectural structure has been created within it. Inside a multi-level network of slim corridors and staircases open out on white-washed oceans of world-class rehearsal space.
Outside, the structure’s facade has pockets of architectural interest, texture and intrigue at every turn, in the form of a glass mezzanine balcony, cutout skylights and a three-tone wood finish. Inside, the clean and minimal studios provide a blank canvas for the dancers to work from.
As conceptual as it is, the studio complex also manages to be homely and welcoming. There’s a kitchen with a well-stocked fridge, gym equipment for anyone to use and quiet seating areas hidden behind partition walls.
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