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Andrew Wood Associates - Karen Hardy Dance Studio

Andrew Wood Associates

The brief from Karen was simple. Create a flexible dance studio, sub-dividable, with a social bar space, reception, office and cloakrooms. The programme however, was not straight forward at all…..

Photographs by

Paul Smoothy







The studio itself was simple. It had maple sprung floors, mirrored walls, sliding acoustic walls for subdivision and a coffered ceiling to allow concealed lighting to wash the space for dramatic effect. The studios were fully wired for sound and vision and the glitter ball took pride of place. The bar and social reception space sought to be a high-quality, comfortable, welcoming environment. It was well finished, had a high quality finish and the ‘sparkle’ that you come to expect from Karen could be found in the crystal shades and cut-glass inlays in the bar.

The project programme was short at best. Karen was keen to coincide the opening night with the BBC hit series Strictly Come Dancing. This meant negotiating with one contractor rather than tendering, submitting the Licence to Alter whilst we were still drawing and overlapping the construction trades to such a degree that the construction process felt, at times, closer the BBC’s DIY SOS than Strictly Come Dancing.

Karen booked the opening night before the licence had come through and before we have a builder in place, the pressure was on. However with a willing builder, a supportive client, and all the trades pulling in the same direction the project was completed on time, just. The contractors were Scottish, they finished within hours of the opening and had screw-drivers and spanners hidden in their kilts for last-minute tweaks whilst the guests and ball room stars began to arrive for the red carpet event.

The Dance studio was completed in 2008 and the contractor was Scotscape Limited.