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A Classical Ballet Academy Finds an Unlikely New Home

Thanks to Batay-Csorba Architects, a West Coast ballet school has pulled off a light landing in suburbia

By Sara Cunningham
Photography by Doublespace Photography

When Chan Hon Goh’s parents – both professional dancers – drove past a 1912 neoclassical building in Vancouver in the late ’70s, the ballerinas fell hard. “This looks like a classical academy. This looks like a dance school,” they gushed. In 1985, they founded the Goh Ballet Academy in that same heritage building. Today, Goh, a former principal dancer at the National Ballet of Canada, has established an outpost at the Bayview Village mall in North York.

Sure, the beige plaza is a far cry from the family’s West Coast jewel. But thanks to Batay-Csorba Architects, Goh has pulled off a light landing in suburbia. An accordion-like wall treatment, a vividly pink ceiling, starry suspension lights and plenty of headspace (for those lifts!) ease the transition from shopping concourse to graceful school.

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