Plymouth BA


Royal William Yard Dance School

A proposal for a dance school within the Royal William Yard, the largest collection of Grade I listed military buildings in Europe, that have recently been converted into a largely residential area by urban regeneration specialists, Urban Splash.


Constructed between 1825 and 1831 the site is characterised by its high walls and uniform grey stone. This project sought to mimic the height and scale of those walls with a more playful material. The school’s external walls are extensions of the site’s boundary walls, squeezing the building’s users towards a narrow entrance that accentuates their overbearing scale. To counteract this the walls are broken up at points by irregular angular windows that provide a glimpse of the dance studios behind. The plan is generated from the form of three amphitheaters and the way that the building is nestled into the hill behind allows the students and staff direct access to a sheltered roof garden covering two thirds of the building.

The school provide three dance studios, the associated changing and storage facilities, a canteen and communal area and a medium sized theatre with a full compliment of backstage facilities.