Rhythms and Arrhythmia: Dance Centre

Susie Boreham (website)
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA)
Second Year Design Studio
Faculty: Robin Livingstone (website)


Perhaps it is possible to distinguish routine within chaos, rhythms within arrhythmia? Dancers strive to achieve rhythms, not only rhythms within choreographed pieces of dance but also the rhythm and regime of practice.

Investigating the rhythms and arrhythms of daily life through the reading of Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis, this proposal for a dance studio in the centre of Manchester creates a separation between the routine of dance practice, and the disarray of daily life.

The building mirrors its uses: just as dancers’ rhythms are part of an overall arrhythmic life, the dance studios attempt to create a controlled environment within a vibrant multi-use building. There is a stark contrast between the open circulation, clanging footsteps on steel walkways, and the sanctuary-like studios, boxes of controlled light and sound.

The ground floor of the building is open plan, containing the café, public spaces and informal performance spaces. The dance studios are elevated, controlled boxes; timber cladding creates acoustic separation, and light is diffused by deep timber joists.

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