ManufacturerPetersen Aluminum Corporation
Elk Grove Village, Illinois
General ContractorGrinder, Taber, & Grinder, Inc.
This new, civic-oriented two story building which houses rehearsal space, dance classrooms, and more for a nationally acclaimed professional ballet company has a stunning exterior form composed of layers of glass, perforated copper, and volumes of contrasting metal which are designed to emulate a music box. Transparency and opening up to the community are at the heart of this design, as the public-facing “Art Wall,” a perforated, transparent, copper screen mimics the existing historic street edge – enhancing the walking experience while visually expressing the graceful art of ballet.
The warmth and lightness of copper allowed the design team to achieve the detailing needed to mask and reveal the movement of the dancers within while also inviting the community to engage in a multi-dimensional way. The material, with its inherent sculptural quality and natural patina process, played a critical role in the design – resulting in a kinetic experience as the building responds to environmental changes and the passing of time. Copper was also crucial in scaling the building for its context, while allowing it to remain a holistic architectural statement. Due to the sculptural nature of the perforated screen, the patina process, and how the screen interacts with layers of glass and volumes of contrasting metal, the building transforms from day to night and through the years.