Royal Academy of Arts vs Laban Dance Centre

During this exploration, the students focused our research on two london based projects: The Royal Academy of Arts and The Laban Dance Centre. The student investigated these two buildings from their mix-use perspective, as both institutions integrate a range of programs for private and public activities, both offering facilities for private learning and public cultural programs. The RA houses a school of contemporary fine art and hosts exhibitions and events throughout the year; The Laban Centre houses a conservatoire of Music & Dance as well as a large Theatre for events.

The students drew these two buildings through their physical and material qualities as well as their intangible and performative qualities. The aim was to discover how the building design reacted to similar challenges of circulation, scale and materiality, and examined how they relate differently to their adjacent urbanity in order to create specific urban environments.

To do this, the studio was divided into two groups so that each member of the groups could explore one specific topic. The elements to explore dealt with tangible and intangible attributes so that the unseen essence was unveiled. The topics to explore were:

1- Circulation and Flow
2- Infrastructure and Network
3- Activity and User
4- Scale
5- Edge and Boundary
6- Pattern and Rhythm

The challenge was to abstract the real building to show only the qualities of the topic the student had chosen to investigate.