A space for Tagus, a space for dance

Nowadays we are facing an architectural situation in which everything looks possible. The tools available for the architect are paving the way to a formalism which is often for its own sake and does not aim to real innovation which, no doubt, requires to defy the rules. Art, in this case the dance, which is possible everywhere, allows us to try to break rules.

Image work detail

When we think about dance, our mind naturally goes to catch images related to a theatre. But, in a way, it is wrong because there is not a specific place for the act of dancing. Dance can happen everywhere. So, the request for a ‘’space for dance’’ led me to think about the infinite possibilities we have to imagine this kind of space. Basically, a so flexible functional request drove me to feel free to think in a sincerer way about space. The art of dance gave me autonomy. Autonomy to be intended, not as a formal freedom or a complete control of the design choices, but as a possibility to produce architecture looking for clues far from architecture itself and so to think a new concept of space.

If on the one hand the architectural and functional composition of a theater is hermetic, on the other the project for a space for dance is completely undefined and open. A space for dance doesn’t give guidelines and it cannot be summarized up in a unique definition. In this sense, dance stimulates the autonomous character of architecture. For this reason, the project is an experimental space for dance which focus exclusively on the form as a consequence of the function and of the idea of space required and it refuses the mere formalism as a solution for the entire building, which is clean and pure on his relation with the city. In the city of Lisbon, the project born in an industrial area where the physical and visual connection with the Tagus river is interrupted by old and abandoned constructions. Starting from this problem, the new building creates a new direct connection with the water without being a barrier. The building is floating creating a cover which ‘’protects’’ the user and creates a filter between the persona and outside world, the Tagus river. This space is thought as public space which, at the same time is the foyer and waiting area of the theater. The big floating cover is resting on just three points that have the function of accesses to the unique main space upstairs. Each entrance is for a specific user and function: one for the audience, one for the artists, one for facilities like bar and ticket office. Entering in the building we are embraced by a unique and free space, where the supporting functions, hidden in the pillars, completely disappear. The atmosphere created enhances the power of the space for dance. The interior floor is not totally flat, but it is a composition of inclined plans which lead the users to create a personal and subjective relation between the body and the floor and allows to fill and feel the space always in a different way. The main space gives to the senses of moving and touch the same importance of the sight. It is not just a spectacular place to watch, it is a space to touch and live, where moving is a pleasure for the body and the soul.