An agreement between the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and York Place Buildings has been reached to provide a brand new purpose built headquarters.
York Place Buildings has guaranteed a newly built home for the RAD in exchange for their current premises on Battersea Square.
The Battersea Square premises will be converted into 34 flats and 5 modern town houses designed by Assael Architects.
The council has approved plans for the redevelopment of the Homebase warehouse and car park on York Road as the new RAD HQ. The project, designed by architects Patel Taylor, features seven studios, a flexible performance space with moveable seating, improved accessibility, modernised changing rooms and office space, two cafés and the opportunity to display the academy’s extensive archives in a new library.
Luke Rittner, Chief Executive of the RAD, said: “As a world leader in dance education and training, our new home needs to reflect that status in every way. I believe that this new building will be a world-class headquarters that will not only make our members, staff and partners proud, it will also help us to fulfil our mission in support of dance and dance education internationally.”
Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “I am delighted that the Royal Academy of Dance will remain in Wandsworth. Their new headquarters will represent a major new attraction and we will be working closely with the Academy in the coming months to help more local people get involved with their work.
“Battersea is changing and we understand the vital role that cultural institutions like the Royal Academy of Dance have to play in creating genuinely attractive, interesting places with real life and vitality.”
Pankaj Patel, Director of Patel Taylor, said: “London’s challenge, in place-making terms, is to create mixed-use buildings which genuinely make contributions at local and cultural levels. In response to London’s housing needs, we have created a design which houses the Royal Academy of Dance in the ground floor, contributing to the local community and animating the public realm, integrating it with an innovative housing solution, preserving the relationship of the Royal Academy of Dance and Wandsworth.”
York Place Buildings’ redevelopment of the Homebase site will also include 275 homes with communal landscaped gardens. The site is within the Greater London Authority’s Clapham Junction to Battersea Riverside Housing Zone, which ultimately intends to provide 5,000 new homes, commercial floor space and 1,300 jobs.
Omer Weinberger, Director of York Place Buildings, said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide a state of the art new home for the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance, and that it can remain in Wandsworth. We’re looking forward to starting on site later this year, providing spectacular river fronting apartments above the new RAD headquarters and, in due course, on our award-winning scheme on Battersea Square.”
Image courtesy of Fifth Capital London