Leicester City Council

The Project

New build theatre and performing arts centre for the City of Leicester, UK.


The Curve is an innovative new theatre and performing arts centre for the city of Leicester, providing two theatre spaces – a 750-seat main auditorium and a 350-seat studio, as well as production/workshop facilities, rehearsal spaces, administrative/office areas and retail and café areas.

The official client for the project was Leicester City Council, however a major part of defining the brief, budget and programme for the project was in consulting with the operator (Leicester Theatre Trust) and their various stakeholders.

The building design creates a new concept in theatre design by exposing the production and technical aspects of theatre to the public, with little distinction between front and back of house when desired, and stages that can be open to the foyer street – an idea that created both technical challenges and the need for education and consultation to ensure buy-in by the client and all the operator’s employees. The lobby and theatre volumes are also exposed to the street through a 4 storey high glazed and louvred curtain wall.

Given the complex nature of this building type, the project required a large and diverse project team, and the integration of significant theatre equipment and acoustic design.

The new theatre was a key instigator of the redevelopment of the St. George’s Conservation Area in Leicester, the heart of the Cultural Quarter. As such the development required additional statutory approvals and consultation with local conservation groups to ensure positive integration with the adjacent historic buildings in the area.

This project experience was carried out by Director, Rebecca Angel, at Rafael Vinoly Architects.