Dutch architects UNStudio have won a competition to design a dance theater in the historic center of St. Petersburg, Russia. The new complex houses the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, headed by choreographer Boris Eifman.
The 226,000 square foot (21,000 sq m) Dance Palace will consist of two horseshoe-shaped auditoriums which have a combined capacity of 1,300 (large auditorium 1000, small auditorium 300). This shape was chosen because it is considered to be one of the most successful forms acoustically in ballet and musical theater.
“The urban context of the building is essential to the design. The Dance Palace is positioned on the square in such a way as to allow for unrestricted visibility towards the nearby Prince Vladimir and Peter and Paul cathedrals, thereby framing some of the most exceptional buildings in St. Petersburg..” -Ben van Berkel
“The vertical foyer provides a high level of transparency from inside to outside, whilst also presenting a kind of stage for visitors to the theatre; a place to see and be seen.”
“An essential requirement when we were designing the auditorium was to make it possible to see the dancer's feet from every seat in the hall at all times, no matter where the performer was positioned on the stage.”