Grafton Architects complete Town House at Kingston University

30 January 2020
  • Peter Langdown

Kingston upon Thames

United Kingdom

New academic building opens to students, residents and businesses

Kingston University's landmark Town House building has opened its doors in advance of an official ceremony on May 20th to mark its completion. Designed by this year's RIBA Gold Medal-winning firm Grafton Architects, the Town House at the Penrhyn Road campus was planned in order to transform the student learning experience, while acting as a gateway to the University for business and local residents. It is the first building designed by the Dublin-based practice to be completed in the United Kingdom.

Featuring a three-floor academic library, archive, dance studios and a studio theatre, the six-storey Town House also incorporates a covered internal courtyard, cafes and external balconies and walkways culminating in a rooftop garden offering views across Kingston and the River Thames. An open library allows for informal learning, research and performance to take place under one roof, while an open staircase weaves through the building to form connections between the varied spaces.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Steven Spier praised the designer’s interpretation of the brief for a building that would different academic disciplines and involve the local community, stating: "Town House is a stunning architectural achievement – an inspirational building with a variety of spaces which break down barriers and encourage creativity, shared learning and unexpected encounters. At the start of this project we set out to create a building that gives us a real presence in the borough and that reflects the importance of our civic role within Kingston upon Thames.”

Grafton Architects was selected to design the scheme from a five-strong shortlist following an international competition initiated by the University in conjunction with RIBA in 2013.

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This tender was first published by TenderStream on 28.05.2013 here

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