Architects’ Journal have named English National Ballet (ENB) as their Building of the Year in their annual AJ100 awards.
ENB Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo CBE, accepted the award on behalf of GHA and ENB, calling their new home “The best ballet building in the world and a reference for future buildings for dance around the world.”
“What I wanted for the company, was a space where we could create, where we could have freedom and where we could show our ambition and connect with the local community. It was a vision of openness, a vision of excellence, aspiration and joy. A space where imaginations could be ignited and where everybody would be welcome and we can say that we did it thanks to Glenn Howells Architects.”
The AJ100 judging panel commented on the clarity of the design, saying “its pared-back, attractive simplicity, atmosphere and qualities of light inside” were notable. Another judge praised the arrangement of facilities for both the ENB Company and School: “This feels like a simple building and yet it is unbelievably complex in what it needs to accommodate.” Also recognised was “the exceptional relationship between the architect and the client.”
The prestigious award is given in recognition of the finest building completed by an AJ100-listed practice in the past 12 months. GHA were up against eight other finalists with buildings covering a broad range of sectors and scales.
ENB’s move from West to East London has provided it with the opportunity to realise their ambitions of having state-of-the-art facilities, whilst opening up dance to the local community and having a building which could generate income whilst the company were touring.
The project would not have been possible without the innovative arts regeneration model provided by EcoWorld / Ballymore.
John Mulryan, Group Managing Director, Ballymore said:
“Building of the year is an incredible accolade, and one that is particularly poignant at such a difficult time for the arts. English National Ballet’s new HQ is more than just a building, the company delivers so many incredible programmes that reach out into the community and strive to ensure that dance is truly inclusive. It’s been a joy to see them make London City Island their home. Working with Glenn and the team is always a pleasure, we’re all so pleased to see their work acknowledged with this award.”
Dato’ Teow Leong Seng, President and CEO, EcoWorld International said:
“We are thrilled to see that English National Ballet’s new HQ has been rightly celebrated as a feat of remarkable design and architecture in the cultural infrastructure sector. We are immensely proud to have them at London City Island. It has been extraordinary to see how English National Ballet has helped transform London City Island into an amazing community to live, work and play in London.”