People of all ages use the Tricycle in northwest London for theatre, cinema and as a place to read, relax and meet. However, it was hidden away inside an urban block and in need of refurbishment.


Coffey Architects was shortlisted finalists in the design competition to upgrade it and strengthen its street presence. Our entry envisioned much stronger physical ties to the local community, thinking of the theatre as an extension of the city. A central courtyard, bathed in light, would accommodate mixed-mode ventilation towers. These were subverted as signposts flagging the theatre’s presence to the outside world.


We designed a new 300-seat auditorium with improved seating and sight lines to replace the old. However, ties to its former incarnation would be memorialised by reusing its famous scaffolding for a junior stage in the foyer – one of several new alternative activity spaces.

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Old and new

We approached the historic fabric by expressing its current forms and structures and adding treatments to them, to layer the new with the old. Entrances, existing historic spaces and existing elevations are treated with this multi-layered approach, using historic scaffolding and new steel cladding.

A social space

Our dynamic proposals reconfigure the entrances, offices, current foyer, box office, bar and circulation to allow for the new Tricycle Square to become a vibrant double height public space/destination bathed in natural light for the people of Kilburn.

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