The English National Ballet has a long, distinguished history. Today, English National Ballet is renowned for taking world-class ballet to the widest possible audience and has gained new acclaim as it introduces innovative new works to the Company’s repertoire while continuing to honour and reinvigorate traditional ballet.
BW has been appointed to manage the fit-out of English National Ballet and English National Ballet School’s new joint home in Canning Town, East London. The 93,000 sqft development will be located at London City Island, a new neighbourhood from Ecoworld Ballymore.
The new joint, purpose-built home at London City Island brings together one of the world’s leading ballet companies with a world-renowned ballet school. The new building will create a centre that combines state-of-the-art training, rehabilitation, and teaching facilities, seven stage-sized rehearsal studios, and a unique production space unrivalled in the capital.
Designed by leading architects Glenn Howells Architects, the new building will include:
- A theatre-sized production studio with five-storey fly tower for the development and rehearsal of productions and creation of new commissions;
- Seven large studios for rehearsals and teaching;
- A health suite including a gym, pilates studio, hydrotherapy pool and rehabilitation facilities;
- Digital infrastructure which will allow both organisations to capture and share work and engage with audiences around the UK and the rest of the world;
- Dedicated Engagement spaces to further English National Ballet’s work with the local community and wellbeing programme including its flagship Dance for Parkinson’s programme;
- Dedicated music room and space for the English National Ballet Philharmonic to rehearse on site;
- Open spaces and architectural features that will create a transparent, open, welcoming environment, sharing the creative process with the public, inside and outside the building
Joining BW on the project is Glenn Howell Architects; Hydrock as M&E; and Pulse Associates as Project Manager and Quantity Surveyors.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said of the move:
“English National Ballet’s move to east London will transform the future of ballet, both in the capital and nationwide. It will mean they can put on more inspiring performances, can develop the stars of tomorrow and reach more people through their education programmes than ever before. It will also breathe new life into City Island – highlighting the importance of embedding cultural projects into the heart of a major new development. I have no doubt that the ENB’s relocation to City Island will further cement the city’s status as a global hub for dance and the performing arts.”
Artistic Director of English National Ballet, Tamara Rojo CBE said:
“Our new home will be a space that will echo the sound of creative Britain. It will be a place where artists will be nurtured from school to beyond their stage careers, and where our continued commitment to their health and fitness will have the best possible infrastructure.
“We will have state of the art spaces to allow us to further create ground-breaking new work and continue to develop our artform. It will be a space we will be able to share with other artists and artforms, and will allow us to be even more open and welcoming to our local communities and audience.”
Construction Images English National Ballet © Michael Molloy