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Jacobs and Leeds City Council unwrap Northern Ballet centre

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[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] Jacobs Architecture with Leeds City Council have completed this £12 million Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre project in Leeds

The six-storey building is the new shared headquarters of Northern Ballet and the and Phoenix Dance Theatre and will play host to the largest dance rehearsal space outside of London.

With a public exhibition space, seven dance studios and a 230-seater venue the design aims to maximize ‘flexible space’ by placing social areas and circulation spaces in the building’s centre. The result is the visitors can watch rehearsals from the public galleries.

Nigel Hall, director at Jacobs Architecture, said: ‘We were aware that it is unusual for classical and contemporary dancers to share facilities and our design encourages opportunities for interaction between the two organisations which we hope will lead to a rich artistic mix.’

Featuring a rain screen zinc panel façade, the scheme used frame and panel construction with infill panels made from timber.  

Mark Wainhouse, construction manager at contractor Wates, said: ‘It was a challenging project given the central location and the meticulous attention it demanded.’

Mark Skipper, chief executive at Northern Ballet, said: ‘The fact that we now have our own purpose-built home, more than ten years after setting out to make this vision a reality, is thanks to investment from both public and private sectors, and is testament to the strength of support and confidence in the future of arts and culture in Leeds and the wider region.’

The completion marks the end of a long-running saga which has seen four different architects draw up plans for the Northern Ballet’s flagship facility, including David Chipperfield, Carey Jones and DLA Architecture.

Jacobs Architecture wand Leeds City Council's Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre project in Leeds

Jacobs Architecture wand Leeds City Council’s Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre project in Leeds

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