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MAD unveils design for Danshuis and images of gigantic spiral staircase in Rotterdam

Chinese studio MAD has revealed visuals of its design for the Rotterdam Center for Dance in the Netherlands, as well as photos of the spiral staircase being constructed for its museum next door.

Called Danshuis, the building will see an old riverfront warehouse named Provimi turned into a cultural destination that will hold dance studios, exhibition spaces and theatres.

View of Danshuis by MAD
The building will be located next to MAD's Fenix Museum of Migration

Located next to the Fenix Museum of Migration, which was MAD's first project in Europe, the building will keep its original warehouse structure but the studio will add a number of interventions.

"Dance is a flowing art of space," MAD founder Ma Yansong said. "To emphasis that and respect the locality and history of the building, we decided to make minimum change to the original structure, just to add art installations in conversation with the environment."

Exterior of Danshuis in Rotterdam
It will overlook the Maas river in Rotterdam

An open-air semi-circular theatre will be located on the top floor, while the second floor will feature a landscaped terrace decorated with a yellow seagull sculpture designed by Ma.

A large red neon sign of the building's name, Danshuis, will face the Maas river.

Spiral staircase at Fenix Museum by MAD
A spirl staircase is being installed next door

The studio also revealed construction images of the adjacent Fenix Museum of Migration, showing the gigantic spiral staircase that will sit at its centre being installed.

Painted a bright blue, the "theatrical" staircase will function as a viewpoint that increases in size as it spirals upwards.

The staircase, which will sit in an atrium at the centre of the building and link each floor, will protrude through the roof to create a 360-degree observation deck.

The Danshuis was commissioned by the Droom en Daad Foundation, which also chose MAD to design the Fenix Museum of Migration.

Detail of spiral staircase at Fenix Museum by MAD
The staircase will sit in the atrium of the Fenix Museum of Migration

"With this second commission from Droom en Daad Foundation, we hope to highlight Rotterdam's yearning for freedom and embracing of diverse global cultures," Ma said.

"The Fenix Museum of Migration and the Danshuis are closely linked and will also look to the future together in Rotterdam's century-old port."

Installation at Fenix Museum by MAD
The museum is MAD's first building in Europe

Construction on the Danshuis is set to begin soon, while the Fenix Museum of Migration is scheduled for completion in 2024.

Rotterdam's waterfront has become a popular area for architecture studios to design creative projects. Other examples in the area include a "vertical city" by OMA and Powerhouse Company's floating office.

Project credits:

Principal partners in charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Associate partner in charge: Andrea D’Antrassi
Design team: Alessandro Fisalli, Paolo Pirri
Images: Proloog

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