Dance studio

1MILLION Dance Studio, designed to accommodate street dance and academic styles

What happens to the architectural layout and interior design of a building when it has been designed to accommodate street dancing as well as more academic styles?

In January 2020, 1MILLION Dance School and Management Studio in Seoul, Korea opened its newly designed flagship studio for those who “don’t need a stage to dance” and ultimately reinvented the model of a “traditional” studio.

In recent years, street dance—the category of dance styles born outside of a studio, often in outdoor urban spaces or nightclubs—has made its way into the vernacular of academic dance. As dance studios have been opening their doors to breaking, popping, locking and other forms of street dance over the past decade, the ability of street dancers to make any space their own is beginning to influence architects more. and designers.

This is why the founders of 1 MILLION—a dance school and management studio in Seoul, Korea—chosen to reinvent studio branding and spatial application within its flagship studio to provide appropriate space for street dancers in more dancers accustomed to a more academic learning context.

Founded in 2014 by Timon Youn and Lia Kim, 1MILLION has since become one of the most popular studios in Korea and recognized worldwide. With the rebranding and revamping of their studio, Youn and Kim are joining the growing trend of dance studios rethinking their space.

In order to achieve the goal of creating a dance-everywhere concept for their new space, 1 MILLION hired in Montreal Creative TUX who worked with Seoul Architecture wise and EONSLD lighting to design the studio, currently open since January 2020.

“The initial concept I came up with for 1MILLION was ‘every space is a stage,'” Sook Hee Chun, partner at Wise Architecture, told ArchiExpo e-Magazine in an interview. “When I visited their old studio, I was impressed with how people used each space. They danced in the waiting room, the stair landing, the roof terrace and even in the “narrow changing room. Almost every room and space had become a dance floor. This became the key concept of the new studio.

The design of 1MILLION Dance is also based on the observation that as the places where dance is practiced evolve, the places where dance is seen also evolves. Today, many dance lovers discover her through online platforms like YouTube and Instagram. With that in mind, designers applied a neutral color palette throughout the studio for an easily recognizable aesthetic in photos and video without overshadowing choreography.

“The ability to photograph was a key design approach for our team when looking at 1MILLION Studio. The project was a process of making a series of dance scenes. Different types of spaces were designed: a space double height, a long narrow hallway with alternating black and white patterns, a wide flat space with gray and black walls, an exterior wall with a white concave mesh, etc. I believe it should be the dancers who complete the design. These are the key elements of the space,” Chun told ArchiExpo e-Magazine.

Image credits: 1MILLION dance studio. Courtesy of Wise Architecture.

Beyond the aesthetics of the 1MILLION studio, the mechanical design was also very important.

“Can you imagine how much the floor of a building moves and how much fresh air is needed when 200 people are dancing at the same time? A strong structure and a heavy mechanical system also needed to be designed,” Chun said.

Lighting plays an important role in the 1MILLION studio because not only is it an element of the design of the space, but it also contributes to the visual media results. In an interview, Mee Jeong, CEO of EONSLD, told ArchiExpo e-Magazine:

“1MILLION wanted to create a place where they could shoot music videos in every part of the studio. For this reason, direct and indirect lighting coexist harmoniously. The dance studios are lit directly by linear luminaires where wide-angle spotlights diffuse the light evenly, allowing the dance moves to be clearly visible.We created a cozy atmosphere in the hallway and living room by using indirect lighting.

To follow 1MILLION on YouTube.

“The focus was on enhancing the whole space through the expression of hidden light. Partially low ceilings and exposed air conditioning were weaknesses, so we focused on the floor plan. vertical with lighting to expand the space.Efforts have also been made to minimize LED flicker which is seen during video production when the ballast and instrument are not compatible.

EONSLD worked with FEELUX CO., LTD to design the lights.

Was the creation of a dance studio an inspiring experience for the designers? According to Chun of Wise Architects, it is. She told ArchiExpo e-Magazine:

“1MILLION Dance Studio is home to a creative and enthusiastic group of people and I can’t wait to see the unexpected use of spaces in their upcoming choreography. The body is an important medium and the only resource they needed to express their creativity. I think it’s super powerful!