Goh Ballet Bayview Village

Goh Ballet Bayview Village

Architect
Batay-Csorba Architects
Location
Toronto, ON, Canada | View Map
Project Year
2019
Category
Workshops
Stories By
Batay-Csorba Architects

Entro
Doublespace Photograph

Goh Ballet Bayview Village

Batay-Csorba Architects as Architects

In the initial conversations with Chan Han Goh, the director of Goh Ballet Academy, she identifies that ‘dance is not about luxury, it is about the work, and what is done in the studio,’ and that is why the architecture of the Goh Ballet Academy is stripped back and minimal, creating a focus on the technical aspects of dance. The former principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada had begun her training in her parent’s basement and wanted her studio to reflect the modest necessities for training in ballet.


Chan Han Goh wanted the studios to be ‘light and airy,’ where they could account for all movements, such as lifting of the human body. To account for that, the five studio spaces have a floor to ceiling height of five meters, and are adorned with nothing but the essentials necessary to train: ballet barres, mirrors, a wall clock, musical accompaniment, and a specialized sprung floor to absorb the impact of the dancers. Otherwise, the studios are focused and neutral in palette.


Another key aspect of training in ballet is the ability to immerse yourself in your work, where the studio could be a place of solace and refuge. The entrance lobby and circulation space is designed to precondition the students for the work to be done. As they enter through the mall or parking lot, they can put away all distractions and thoughts of the outside world by fully immersing themselves in the idea of movement. As you enter, abstract alternating dark and pink stripes peel and unfold into a lenticular image, that dynamically reveals itself as you circulate the space.


As the images unfold, you see both the corps de ballet of Swan Lake in black and white, and the other of Goh herself in her seminal role of Juliet (photograph by Joseph Ciancio, 1997). These two alternating images reflect Chan Han Goh’s career. As principal dancer for the National Ballet of Canada for four years running, she had achieved critical acclaim in the role of Juliet; and for a guest role in the Royal Danish Ballet, she had stepped outside of her comfort zone to play in Swan Lake. Her role in the Danish Ballet had challenges, but what gave her strength was an absolute trust in her partner. These two images together communicate the teamwork of being in a corps de ballet, and how trusting in your ensemble is what strengthens your performance.

Goh Ballet

Entro as Consultants

Entro embarked on a collaborative project with Batay-Csorba Architects and Acumen Visual Group to provide signage for Goh Ballet, a prestigious dance academy located in the Bayview Village Mall in Toronto, Ontario.

 

The most striking aspect of the space is a lenticular art piece, created in collaboration with Batay-Csorba Architects. Entro advised the architectural team on technical aspects of this piece and strove to match its aesthetics in our signage. Fluorescent lighting behind room plaques, for instance, gives them a soft pink glow that reflects and adds to the atmosphere created by the architects.

 

Challenges of the space included its size and upper floor location. At street level, clear signage is required to direct students and visitors to the second level, where a reception desk is situated.
 

Leveraging the existing brand identity and logo — a simple serif font — Entro designed an exterior vinyl sign, as well as plaques for dressing rooms and dance studios.

 

There is a delicate balance between refined and relaxed in this space. A minimalist approach for signage allows the architects’ exemplary work to take centre stage. Entro’s signage is therefore practical and beautiful, supportive of the overall aesthetic and provides an inviting and warm welcome to students, faculty, and guests.

Gabriele Colangelo
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