RIBA crowns Kingston University Town House by Grafton Architects as UK’s best new building with 2021 Stirling Prize

RIBA crowns Kingston University Town House by Grafton Architects as UK’s best new building with 2021 Stirling Prize

15 Oct 2021 News

After Foster + PartnersBloomberg in 2018 and Mikhail RichesGoldsmith Street in collaboration with Cathy Hawley in 2019, Grafton ArchitectsKingston University Town House wins the 25th RIBA Stirling Prize.

Ed Reeve

“Kingston University Town House is a theatre for life – a warehouse of ideas. It seamlessly brings together student and town communities, creating a progressive new model for higher education, well deserving of international acclaim and attention. In this highly original work of architecture, quiet reading, loud performance, research and learning, can delightfully co-exist. That is no mean feat. Education must be our future – and this must be the future of education.”

- Lord Norman Foster,  Jury Chair

Ed Reeve

Grafton Architects manages to capture the spirit of learning and encapsulate the spaces with a sense of social cohesion. A 200 meters long six-storeys high colonnade offers shaded shelter with terraces and gardens looming above.

Ed Reeve

Purposefully designed as democratic and open, the building intends to invite students, locals and visitors in. The permeable facade is open and transparent at street level. Voids and staircases inside draw the view from the ground floor up through the building.

Ed Reeve

“We imagined a place where students would feel at home. This building is about people, interaction, light, possibilities. It is about connecting to the community, the passer-by, an invitation to cross the threshold; a three-dimensional framework with layers of silence and layers of sound. Space, volume and light are the organisers. The building edges are not boundaries but active gathering spaces, terraces, galleries. Being outside under the big sky is always just a few steps away. Kingston University gave us this educational vision which we translated into a spatial open matrix. We are absolutely delighted the Kingston Town House has won the prestigious Stirling Prize.”

- Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects

 

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