Leicester is ugly


Most architecture in Leicester is a disgrace.

That cannot be said about two of its newest buildings I’ve visited in the past 24 hours. Last night Curve. A play called Be Near Me from the novel I read last year. It was fantastic, much better than the diabolical Simply Cinderella I witnessed at Christmas.

But the surroundings are wonderful. And anybody who sneers at Curve, who thinks it’s a waste of money, misjudges the extent to which beautiful buildings contribute to better mood. Perhaps if town planners had realised that in the 1960s there wouldn’t be so many miserable people sloping round Leicester city centre now.

And this morning, to the University of Leicester’s brilliant new library. I say new, it’s been open about a year, but for some reason it’s taken me this long to walk across Victoria Park and have a cup of tea in its peaceful cafe. It really is a striking place. Frankly we all deserve more buildings like this.

What with that, a visit to Queens Road’s new Sainsbury’s and a relaxing Saturday morning in the sunshine, it has been a pretty good day all in all.

About Ian

A journalist working in Brussels
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7 Responses to Leicester is ugly

  1. AJ Cann says:

    You picked the right day to go. During the week the DWL cafe is packed and buzzing with students. Fun, but it may take you a while to get served. the new Library is a great addition to the award-winning architecture of the University though, and a great place to study in.

  2. Ross Grant says:

    Not been to the new library, so should have a look. Spent a lot of time in the old one on my A level history dissertation.

    The new Sainsburys though is an example of one of the problems Leicester has architecturally. The facade is modern bland brand. In the city centre this is even worse. Look up above ground floor and there are some great buildings.

    An example of restoring at least a feel of the old is Salvador Deli on Queens Road – soon to have a street cafe tables too. Now a newspaper and espresso in the sun. Good times.

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