Geneva Dance Pavilion

Much like “a story within a story” our aim is to create a “world within a world”, separated from the hustling and bustling of every day life. Visitors and performers are invited into a calm and playful, sheltered space designed to stimulate their senses and release creativity. Different programs are nested within each other, creating shells that unfolds and leads th ebody through different spatial experiences.

Dance here is understood as moments of movement in time, and our aim has been to make visitors a part of this motion. By layering the spaces where screens and openings overlap we intend to blur the boundaries between visitors and dancers, making our visitors part of the performance taking place. Visitors are lead through an enclosed exterior garden, through a slender pathway, into a wide foyer before entering an intimate performance space in the heart of the pavillion.

Our Aim

In our design we have focused on creating a unique atmosphere, uninterrupted by the outside world. This is achieved by a system of layers, making the outer wall an important feature of our design. The idea of a world inside a world, is for the benefit of creating a stimulating environment for artists and the public to meet, dance and be creative while exposing the Contemporary Dance Assocation (ADC) in a beautiful and interesting way.

We have focused on creating an integrated, sustainable and flexible design, by finding cost efective and practical design solutions. The impact of the project on site has been minimized and the existing vegetation integrated into our design. The project contributes a great deal to the existing city fabric by creating an integrated public space which can be used as a public garden (park), sheltered from the hard traffic of the two main roads, surrounding the sire. The lush garden could be a permanent installment for the area, adding to the cities green lungs, when the dance pavilion is relocated.

The Outer Wall

While the layering of spaces allows for interesting encounters and beautiful visual effects it is also designed for it’s sound insulating properties, in the way each layer gradually diffuses sound, protecting the inner core from disturbance and noise outside. The outer wall diffueses sound and light by dispersion, allowing for a protected area inside.

Glass fibre reinforced polymer rods with timber boxes produce an open structure for the wall, with the rods allowed to sway or ‘dance’ in the wind. Cantilevered out of a precast concrete strip footing at their base, the top of the rods are restrained with a cable between steel corner posts, providing deflection control and defining the form.

Transparency and patterns of the wall changes depending on prespective, revealing different areas of the interior, showing glimpses of what is going on inside. The pattern diffuses light and sound while shadows play on the ground adding to the unworldly experience. The elements moves in the wind and twists to make a dynamic rhythm as if dancing when the viewer moves, capturing movement in a cinematic effect.

Type:Culture Mobile
Client:Association pour la Danse Contemporaine
Location:Geneve, Switzerland
Size:1 300 m2
Team: Alexander H. Berg, Birgitte J. Haug, Ibrahim Elhayawan, Isabell Adamofski, Israel Blasco Giménez, Laura Martinez
Partners: Ramboll Uk