Designed by Foster Wilson Architects, the Parabola Arts Centre is 325 seat auditorium built with minimalist contemporary detail. Prior to purchasing the site, Cheltenham Ladies' College consulted English Heritage who were enthusiastic about the potential of the building which involved the renovation of an important historic building and the removal of a large 1970s extension. The brand new auditorium, constructed using local Bath stone, is linked via a glass walkway to the grade II* listed Regency stucco villa now beautifully restored to its former glory to provide teaching space, a dance studio, video-editing suite and reception rooms.
At a total cost of £12.5 million, funded in part through generous donations, the PAC was built to be a facility for the Cheltenham Ladies’ College and to be used as a public arts centre by the local community. Events from the Cheltenham Music, Literature, Jazz and Science Festivals are hosted annually. PAC opened its doors to the general public in February 2011 with the launch of its inaugural Spring Season.
- Cheltenham Civic Society Award - Best New Building - 2009
- RIBA Award - 2011