Page D1.1 . 22 September 2004                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
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Centre National de la Danse

by Christian Horn

In September 2004, the French Centre National de la Danse (National Dance Center) opened the doors of its "new" headquarters to students, professionals, and the public. Situated in Pantin, a town just northeast of Paris, the rejuvenated 1960s-era building symbolizes a growing cultural interest in the Parisian suburbs.

Since its birth as an institution in 1998, the dance center had been searching for a convenient building that could house its various activities under one roof. The initial desire to construct the new headquarters in Paris was quickly abandoned when that was revealed to be too expensive.

Then began a search for an existing building that could be transformed, that was not too far from the center of Paris, and that had the necessary architectural qualities suitable for the prestigious National Dance Center. The selected building, after a transformation, now stands as an inspiring example of how a building can escape demolition and experience a reincarnation.   >>>

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Night view of the entry hall and the main stair of the National Dance Center by Atelier Robain & Guieysse.
Photo: Agathe Poupeney/ Centre National de la Danse

ArchWeek Image

Electric lighting, created by the artist Hervé Audibert, gives the building its distinctive nighttime coloration.
Photo: Agathe Poupeney/ Centre National de la Danse


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