Cincinnati Ballet, Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

From their dance academy to their diverse, global Ballet corps, to their community programs for children with Downs’ Syndrome, Cincinnati Ballet breaks down barriers to dance. The new Margaret and Michael Center for Dance expresses their mission that dance is for everyone.

Tucked into Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood, The new center surrounds people in the joy of movement. Adjacent to one of the city’s major expressways, the building’s strategic siting makes a highly visible statement: the arts are valued in Cincinnati.

Large windows provide ample daylight; the premier studio offers city views. The spacious studios give artists plenty of room to lift and leap and push the medium of dance forward; enhanced dressing rooms and inspiring communal spaces communicate to dancers that their health and wellbeing is a priority. The design takes advantage of the site’s slope to create loading dock access to the third-floor studios. Graceful stilts help maximize the amount of building that could fit on the site; terracotta tiles on the exterior were individually hand made in Lexington, Ohio. Each tile is unique, like each dancer who comes to the center to experience the joy of dance.


Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

July, 2021

Submitting Firm Name


Project Team

Landscape Architect

REALM Collaborative



Interior Designer


Environmental Designer



Messer Construction