nicoll russell studios
architects + interior designers

The Space Theatre & Dance Facility


Dundee College, Scotland

The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance or The Space as it is better known, was the first of three Scottish Arts Council funded projects which the practice won in the late 1990's. They were each a continuation of the themes explored by Dundee Rep which collectively contributed to the blossoming of Scotland's arts scene at that time.
They all sought to be a shop window for the arts and to inspire, but The Space lifts those themes virtually to an obsession, where each stair, corridor or landing is considered as an opportunity to catalyse the artistic use of that area and to make the visitor jump for joy. Architecturally the auditorium is revealed as a blue black concrete core at the heart of the building around which is wrapped a thin gauze dividing it from a street linking separate administration, and rehearsal buildings. Three dance studios sit on a podium of support accommodation overlooking parkland to the west with a wave like roof floating overhead.
The lecturers and students of Dundee College's School have enthusiastically embraced The Space as their home and have used virtually every space from the shower rooms to the brise soleil for promenade performances. It has become an extremely popular multiuse venue and a flagship for the College which has attracted students from near and afar.

Photography : Keith Hunter; NRS