helsinki dance house by jkmm architects and ilo architects

JKMM architects and ILO Architects collaborated on ‘helsinki dance house’, Finlandfirst monument dedicated to the performance and experience of dance. the recently opened venue is located in a old wiring from the 1940s, which is now the largest cultural center in Finland. inspired by dance, the architecture of the project plays with illusions of lightness and heaviness. meanwhile, the building’s industrial aesthetic also reads like a machine, with the state-of-the-art black box theaters serving as an “internal engine.”

“it was a privilege for us, architects, to participate in the creation of a new house for dance”, notes teemu kurkela, lead architect of the project and co-founder of JKMM. ‘the project is unique and there are only a handful of similar buildings in the world. the dance house is like a huge modern “dancing machine” that will be turned on when the dancing starts, when the dancers and the public invade the building.image © hannu rytky

header video by tapio snellman (music: olavi louhivuori, dancers: oskari turpeinen, sophia wekesa)

finland’s first iconic venue dedicated solely to dance

helsinki dance house / tanssin talo is conceived as a vast machine-like venue, built to celebrate the art of dance and other performing arts. the project is located inside the former city cable factory, which manufactured marine cables in the 1940s. in the early 1990s, the city of helsinki acquired the building, which now serves as more finland’s major cultural center, home to everything from museums to art schools and studios, including the helsinki dance house.

conceived by JKMM architects (Continued here) and ILO Architects (Continued here), the new hall has the largest stage in the Nordic countries built specifically for dancing. the project adds a contemporary layer to the existing factory complex, bringing the old and the new into dialogue with each other. its architecture is inspired by dance, with two suspended steel elevations that bring a quality of weightlessness. one elevation is designed as reflective and intangible, while the other is rugged with a rusty finish. inside, a glazed courtyard serves as an important shared public space for the cable plant as a whole.

JKMM dance house helsinki ILO
the dance house adds a contemporary layer to the old factory

image © tuomas uusheimo

JKMM dance house helsinki ILOimage © hannu rytky

JKMM dance house helsinki ILO
image © peter vuorenrinne / JKMM architects

finland's first dance-only landmark opens inside 1940s cable factory in helsinki


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