The Curve, Leicester

A 750-seat theatre and a 350-seat black box share a central flexible stage, which may also open towards the foyer. The Curve was awarded the 2009 RIBA for the East Midlands region, and the International Architecture prize by the Chicago Athenaeum and European Centre for Architecture, Art Design & Urban Studies in 2010.

The Curve as seen from the street,
with a view onto the 350-seat theatre.
The Curve as seen from the street,
with a view onto the 350-seat theatre.
750-seat Proscenium theatre.
750-seat Proscenium theatre.
“Lift-off” opening show, with audience passing by on stage.
Vertically moving acoustic wall,
opening up to the outside world after the “Lift-off” show.
One of the foyer bars.
Foyer on the glazed façade side.
The foyer
being used as
a performance space,
here for the
“Lift-off” show.
Looking upwards
in the foyer,
across the
750-theatre pod.
Different uses of the performing arts center.
© Ducks Scéno
Information Sheet


Location   Leicester, United Kingdom.

Project Cost   £62 million (approximately 56 million €).

Time Frame   Design 2002-2005, construction 2005-2008, opening November 2008.

Owner   Leicester City Council.

Architect(s)   Rafael Viñoly, Rafael Viñoly Architects, New York and London.

Theatre Planner(s)   dUCKS Scéno, France.

Seat Count   Performing arts center with two theatres, one 750-seat Proscenium theatre and one 350-seat Black Box. The central stage in between the 2 theatres can be used for either one of the theatre rooms, or both — then becoming a single 1 100-seat performing hall —, or extended to the lobby, which then becomes yet another performing space. Acoustical isolation around this ultra flexible stage is partly provided through novel curtain and separation concepts. Total area 13 000 m².

Uses   Theatre, musicals, experimental theatre, music performances.

Services   Comprehensive acoustics consulting, from basic design through construction supervision and opening services.

Team   Eckhard Kahle, Project Manager, Thomas Wulfrank, Site Supervision, Nathalie Faillet, Kahle Acoustics.

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