Bora transformed a vacant industrial building into a light-filled studio and performance space for the Bodyvox Dance Company, a self-described “freewheeling, multi-media, boundary-bending movement troupe.” Their new home, created on a tight budget, capitalizes on the character of the existing building to embody the company’s effervescent personality and expansive aspirations.
During design, we learned that Bodyvox wanted to establish a stronger presence in the city and the cultural community of Portland. They wanted a space for rehearsal, dance classes and performance, and a salon for community gatherings. We looked for opportunities to make the activity within the center visible and connected to its surroundings.
The building is organized around 3 major rooms. The lobby is place for social functions, art openings and board meetings. It features a reception counter made from wood reclaimed during demolition. Next to it, a light filled teaching studio with a roll-up garage door opens to the sidewalk, revealing the motion within.
A double-height flexible rehearsal / performance space is the major room on the ground floor. With a 150-seat capacity, it has technical systems to support a variety of performances. The interior capitalizes on the raw character of the building with muscular steel trusses and painted masonry walls expressing the industrial heritage. Windows and skylights allow natural light to fill the space while providing views from the sidewalk during daytime rehearsals. For performances, shades are lowered to allow theater lighting to transform the environment.
Since opening the building Bodyvox has enjoyed rapid growth, their new home both a beacon for dance and a gathering place for the neighborhood.
Bodyvox Dance Center
Viridian Environmental Design
Merit Award, IIDA Oregon Chapter
Merit Award, AIA Portland
Merit Award, USITT