TANSSIN TALO c Hannu Rytky 05

Dance House Helsinki – a landmark designed in terms of dance


After decades of waiting, Dance House Helsinki is ready to start operating as the spearhead of dance. Dance House Helsinki is a unique undertaking; there are only a handful of similar buildings to be found in the whole world.

Dance House Helsinki and the renovated Cable Factory together form a significant entity – Helsinki's liveliest and most compelling place is waking up; the dance is about to commence.


It has been a privilege for us architects to be involved in creating a unique new home for dance. The architecture has gained its inspiration from dance; its principles rather than forms. The huge metal walls on the main façade seem to float in the air, defying gravity. The mirrored metal surface creates the illusion of a darkening night with its reflections. The underlying intangibility and lightness are the “muscles of the building,” tens of thousands of kilos of steel. On the park side, hundreds of metal sequins create an ensemble of rhythmic surfaces against the sky.


Dance House Helsinki is like a huge modern “dance machine” that becomes part of an old factory. That is why Dance House Helsinki is an industrial heavyweight – firmly rooted in the ground. The facilities are on an industrial scale and the individual characteristics of Dance House Helsinki can be identified as parts of the machine. The new meets the old and together they create a new future.


Without the dancers, the audience and the performance, the architecture of the Dance House Helsinki is not yet complete – the people and lights complete the picture. When you enter through the high steel door of Dance House Helsinki, it feels like you have entered the stage yourself: a person is in the spotlight on a huge stage. Efforts have been made to construct a unique atmosphere attuned to performances, in the interior of the building.

The black interiors feature surprising red spaces, rough materials and reflective surfaces. The moment of the performance has arrived.

Teemu Kurkela, JKMM Architects

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