Composite dance studio roof: Siobhan Davies Dance Studio

Main Contractor:


Sarah Wigglesworth

Project Duration:

1 year


roof cladding

wall & ceiling cladding


modular buildings

Project Information:

Studio dances under the moonlight with Design & Display

When it came to fulfilling the architect’s extraordinary vision - to create a ‘visual metaphor’- for the roof of a £2.25 million London dance studio, only one company could turn it into a reality, D&D.

Sarah Wigglesworth Architects (SWA) created a unique image with the roof of renowned Siobhan Davies Dance Company’s new studio. This phenomenal, arching structure was designed to give the impression that the studio was directly under the sky. But, until GRP experts Design & Display came to its attention, actually producing the design seemed an unachievable target.

The company proved once again their unique capabilities and the immense versatility of GRP by designing, constructing and installing the truly creative, yet practical composite roof, which featured entwining curves throughout the ceiling.

With GRP, D&D had the ability to create five identical large shell structures using a series of moulds. This formed the essential element of the roof’s construction and allowed for a recurring complex and curvaceous design.

To accommodate the intense requirements of the dancers, the acoustic ceiling, also built by D&D in computer calculated plywood strips, allows for a studio space that is, in places, 5.5 metres high - thanks to the concaved nature of the structure.

As well as being a highly efficient method of producing large constructions, it also ensured a far lower environmental impact. Being lightweight, the low payload sections of roof required minimal transportation to site - reducing carbon emissions.

Between the wave-like segments, vertical roof lights with OkaluxTM light diffusing glass bring to the studio a soft, reflective light, without distracting the dancers. This creates a desirable and naturally calm atmosphere throughout the internal surroundings.

To finish off what is a remarkable feat in both design and installation, the architect specified a blue outer finish to resemble the surmounting sky and Pilkington SuncoolTM Low E glass to reduce solar gain.

Offering its experienced advice, D&D proposed an orange peel texture for the azure finish so that the new structure would blend in immediately with the existing main building below.

Architects Sarah Wigglesworth Architects (SWA) commented: “In realising our vision of a swaying and billowing roof form, Design & Display provided the answer to all our problems. Taking responsibility for the entire package from structure to finishes, they were able to offer a range of imaginative technical solutions in an open and collaborative process. It was a pleasure to work with the skilled professionals at Design & Display in their unique and unusual area of expertise. We would not hesitate to recommend them to other members of the building industry for appropriate projects.”

At this unique project, the company proved that its expert GRP solutions offer architects the chance to create designs more imaginative than other materials could ever allow.

Contact Allan Curtis on 07718 320184