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MAD Architects transforms old warehouse into a center for dance in Rotterdam

Netherlands Architecture News - Mar 09, 2023 - 14:14   1895 views

MAD Architects transforms old warehouse into a center for dance in Rotterdam

Chinese architecture firm MAD Architects has unveiled design to transform an old warehouse on the south bank of the Mas River Rotterdam into a center for dance.

The Netherlands-based Droom en Daad Foundation commissioned MAD, led by Ma Yansong, to turn the riverfront Provimi warehouse into a new cultural destination, the Danshuis - in Dutch language for “the Dance House”.

Intended to provide professional dance studios, theaters, exhibition spaces, the new projects will welcome dancers from all around the world to perform all kinds of dance freely.

Envisioned as the latest major cultural project, the Droom en Daad Foundation aims to make the city of Rotterdam a world leader through art and culture. 

The Danshuis will transform the old warehouse on the south bank of the Mas River Rotterdam into a symbol for freedom and pluralism. 

MAD Architects transforms old warehouse into a center for dance in Rotterdam

Set to be built as a vibrant place for the exchange of world dance culture, the new building will echo the adjacent MAD-designed Fenix Museum of Migration, MAD’s first European cultural project. 

The Fenix Museum of Migration is currently under construction at site and set to be completed in 2024.

According to MAD, the buildings together realize and strengthen the connection of the cultural fabric of the city.

MAD Architects has largely preserved the original warehouse structure while introducing a number of iconic design gestures to express the pursuit of freedom and pluralism. 

MAD Architects transforms old warehouse into a center for dance in Rotterdam

Ma Yansong designed a yellow seagull sculpture on the landscaped terrace on the second floor of the Danshuis along with red neon signs facing the river. 

Besides, an open-air semi-circular theater, which is a nod to the Ancient Greek gathering spaces, is designed in the middle area of the top floor. The space will be used for public gatherings through a shared love for the arts. 

Animated by the dancers in the orchestra pit, the classicism of this performance space masterfully contrasts the contemporary backdrop of the rapidly changing scenery along the Mas River Rotterdam.

MAD Architects transforms old warehouse into a center for dance in Rotterdam

"In the Danshuis, people will feel the outdoors from within, the flow of dance and music in the process of watching and being watched, and the free transmission of art through tangible and intangible forms," said MAD in its project description.

"Dance is a flowing art of space. To emphasis that and respect the locality and history of the building, we decided to make minimum change to the original structure, just to add art installations in conversation with the environment," said Ma Yansong. 

MAD Architects transforms old warehouse into a center for dance in Rotterdam

"With this second commission from Droom en Daad Foundation, we hope to highlight Rotterdam's yearning for freedom and embracing of diverse global cultures." 

"The Fenix Museum of Migration and the Danshuis are closely linked and will also look to the future together in Rotterdam's century-old port," Yansong added.

The Danshuis will start construction soon. 

MAD Architects transforms old warehouse into a center for dance in Rotterdam

MAD Architects transforms old warehouse into a center for dance in Rotterdam

MAD Architects in collaboration with China Airport Planning & Design Institute and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design are designing the Changchun “Longjia” International Airport Terminal 3 in China.

The firm also completed the 30,000-seat capacity Quzhou Stadium, marking the first signature stadium of Quzhou Sports Park in the historic city of Quzhou, China. 

Project facts

Location: Danshuis, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Client: The Droom en Daad Foundation

Design Team:
Principal Partners in charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Associate Partner in charge: Andrea D’Antrassi
Design Team: Alessandro Fisalli, Paolo Pirri

All images © Proloog

> via MAD 

concept dance studio MAD Architects