Laban Centre London Dance, Deptford Building Photos, Creekside Arts Project Architect, English Design

Laban Centre : Deptford Building

Contemporary Dance Centre London SE8, UK design by Herzog & de Meuron Architects

post updated 8 September 2021 ; 2 Mar 2010

Location: Deptford, southeast London, England, UK

Date built: 2002

Renamed Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Design: Herzog & de Meuron

Laban Centre Deptford London dance building
photograph : Tim Crocker

Laban Centre London

Laban is the largest purpose-built contemporary dance centre in the world. The building was designed by Herzog and de Meuron, the Pritzker Prize winning (2001) Swiss architects who also designed the Tate Modern and the National Stadium in Beijing (2008 Olympic Games).

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

By day the building’s semi-translucent cladding allows traces of dance and movement to be visible through the walls. By night, the building becomes a coloured beacon with light and movement spilling out illuminating the surrounding area.

Laban Centre Deptford London building
photo : Tim Crocker

Laban Centre Exterior
The visual artist, Michael Craig-Martin, collaborated with the architects Herzog & de Meuron on the bold decorative scheme for Laban’s exterior and on some elements of the interior design. The 7800m2 structure is clad in a revolutionary semi-translucent, coloured polycarbonate punctuated by large clear windows.

The polycarbonate cloaks the building in semitransparent shades of lime, turquoise and magenta. Michael Craig-Martin previously worked with Herzog & de Meuron on the polycarbonate box which illuminates the top of the chimney at Tate Modern in London.

Laban Centre London Deptford building
photo : Tim Crocker

By day, the regular activities of Laban – training, rehearsals, research and workshops – are semi-visible through the walls from the outside. By night, Laban acts as a coloured lantern or beacon, radiating light out onto the surrounding area and along Deptford Creek.

The design was conceived as a physical expression of Laban’s relationship with its local community – a vibrant inspiring focal point, accessible and welcoming to all.

Laban Centre Laban Centre London
photos : Mark Whitfield

Laban Centre Interior
Inside, the building is structured as an urban ‘streetscape’, a series of corridors, interior courtyards and meeting places, centred round the main theatre space – the literal and metaphorical heart of the building.

The Laban Centre design aims to:
– provide inspiring spaces which mirror the fluid movements of dance
– reflect the complex relationships between Laban’s many different fields of activity and enable students and staff from various disciplines to meet and exchange ideas
– preserve some of the distinctive ‘chaotic beauty’ and constructive informality often observed in Laban’s old premises at Laurie Grove, New Cross

Laban Centre Building images / information from the Laban Centre

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London

Music faculty:
King Charles Court
Old Royal Naval College
London SE10 9JF

Contact: +44 (0)20 8305 4444

Dance faculty:
London SE8 3DZ

Contact: +44 (0)20 8691 8600

Laban Centre design : Herzog & de Meuron


Location: Creekside, Deptford, south east London, SE8 3DZ, England, UK

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Laban Centre London award – Stirling Prize 2003

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