Tricycle Theatre and Tricycle Cinema

This 240-seat theatre, first converted by the practice in 1980 from a 1920s Dance Hall, has become one of London’s leading off West End venues. To meet the client’s limited budget and timescale the auditorium was constructed from a standard scaffolding system. Its dimensions and form are closely modelled on the Georgian Theatre in Richmond, Yorkshire, providing a very intimate galleried courtyard space.

In 1987 the building was severely damaged by fire and the auditorium lost. The client asked us to restore the original auditorium, with some technical improvements and an increased seating capacity, and to undertake a major remodelling and extension of the front of house, office and backstage areas. Air conditioning and extra seats were added to the auditorium and a new two storey extension was built, providing a workshop and community room and allowing the bar and gallery areas to be enlarged.

The Tricycle Cinema represents the third stage in the development of the Tricycle complex. The new building adds a 300-seat cinema, a large rehearsal studio, an art studio and additional offices to the existing theatre, bar and art gallery. It occupies a site adjacent to the original theatre with a frontage onto a side street, which for the first time gives the theatre a significant street presence. The new building, which completely fills the footprint of the site, comprises 3 main elements: a double height top lit entrance foyer, a luxury 300-seat cinema, excavated below ground level, and a lightweight structure at first floor level, containing the day-lit studios and offices. Externally the design aims to clearly articulate these 3 elements.

  • ClientThe Tricycle Theatre Company and The London Borough of Brent
  • Civic Trust Award (commendation), 2000
  • Royal Fine Art Commission Building of the Year Award (Entertainment category), 1999
  • British Construction Industry Award (highly commended), 1999
  • Royal Institute of British Architects Award, 1999