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DECIDEDLY JAZZ DANCEWORKS

A NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR DANCE  | CALGARY, CANADA

Designed while at DIALOG, Construction completed in 2016

Situated in the vibrant heart of downtown Calgary, the Kahanoff Centre stands as a distinctive facility that offers discounted space to nonprofit organizations. An ambitious expansion project is underway, introducing an 11-storey addition to the Centre, featuring seven innovative studios and a 200-seat performance theatre tailored for its anchor tenant, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD).

The shape of the building is a reflection of the program within. Upper floors of the building (used for office and administrative purposes) are efficient and understated - while the lower floors of the building house more expressive programmatic elements and are therefore contained in a more expressive geometry.

Main Theater Interior View

At DIALOG, I spent 8 months designing the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Center. Being a small project team, my responsibilities covered all aspects, ranging from giving client presentations to designing, drawing/modelling, and documenting the building.

The architectural concept is centered around DJD's mission to "Bring Dance to the Street." The design manifests itself in the form of individual, transparent studio volumes that gracefully move independently of one another. This intentional separation creates a captivating visual spectacle, with dance activities unfolding on multiple levels simultaneously, providing a dynamic and fully accessible view from the bustling street below.

 

Lobby Interior View

The design for the DJD practice facility prioritizes functionality for professional dancers. Responding to Artistic Director Kimberly Cooper's request for an inspiring and practical space, the design redefines traditional theater by featuring a fully glazed back wall.

 

This unique approach allows the city skyline to serve as a backdrop, offering a captivating view of practice sessions and performances from the street. A chain-mail curtain adds versatility, providing privacy within the theater and serving as a canvas for projections visible from the street.

Practice Studio Interior View

Practice Studio Interior View

Photos and Renders Courtesy of DIALOG

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