News: Dame Darcey Bussell sets the stage for new Royal Academy of Dance

Tuesday 29 January 2019

The Royal Academy of Dance’s new state of the art headquarters at Avanton: Battersea started to take shape last week at an event to celebrate the building’s topping out. Royal Academy of Dance students presented an exclusive dance piece, choreographed by the Academy’s Artistic Director, Gerard Charles for special guest and President, Dame Darcey Bussell, to mark the construction milestone. The building will be completed in 2020 to coincide with the Academy’s centenary.

The new 60,000 sq.ft building will almost double the footprint of the Academy, to help it meet increasing demand for dance classes and workshops for people of all ages and abilities. The fully accessible new headquarters will include eight full-size dance studios, a performance theatre (178 capacity), a library and archive which will house and display many of its original costume and dance artefacts, and a new retail space and café.

Designed by Patel Taylor, the development will also provide 299 apartments and communal landscaped gardens. A bold design approach comprises three buildings on a single podium, the architectural form of which has been inspired by the movement of dance. The interior architecture has been designed by Takero Shimazaki Architects.

Dame Darcey Bussell commented:

“This building symbolises a new ‘home’ of dance, that will benefit our worldwide members, staff and partners, and will also enable us to strengthen our links to the local community. As President I am proud of the work the RAD does to promote a love of dance in everyone, regardless of ability or background, and to nurture future generations of talented teachers and dancers.”

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