When Rafael Vinoly designed the Curve Theatre in Leicester his vision gave the City a truly innovative and technically sophisticated building. A unique aspect of the theatre is its curved glass construction which means that all aspects of the theatre’s operations, from rehearsals to set building, can be viewed from the outside, giving it the nickname “the inside out theatre”. Metal louvres encase the sweeping lines of glass and can be opened and closed to provide protection when required. For building signage to be truly effective it needs to be integral in the design, when Wood&Wood were asked to tender for this project it was clear that the signage blended completely with the structure. The conceptual design of the theatre was applied to every aspect, including its signage, ensuring a consistent and cohesive quality throughout.
The external signage which features the word “CURVE” comprises of sealed acrylic LED letters with silver returns, these follow the contours of the building and use the theatre’s own font.
Internally the wall mounted signs all have discreet fixings, which generates a floating effect reflecting the design of the building, which is suspended from above rather than supported from below.
Another key feature of the theatre is the way it is designed to ensure operational ease. One side of the building lifts up allowing vehicular access into the building so productions can be moved in and out with ease. The internal projecting signs have been designed so they can lie flat against the wall to facilitate this movement through the building.
Large vinyl figures indicate the numbers of each stage entrance, tactile Modular Sign Systems are interchangeable to provide flexibility and 3.5 metre high monoliths in brushed aluminium offer up to the minute visitor information via LCD screens, enhancing the theatregoer’s experience.
This project is a true example of how signage can be used to enhance a structure as well as carrying out its functional role.