The University plans to replace the current Town House building on Penrhyn Road, which was erected in the mid-1980s originally as a temporary, five-year measure, with a new, sustainable landmark building and also turn the front of the Penrhyn Road campus into an attractive, landscaped area. The site is on a key gateway to the town centre and has been identified in the Royal Borough of Kingston’s Area Action plan as befitting a landmark building.
Vice-Chancellor Julius Weinberg said the building will herald a fantastic future for both the University and the Borough: “We are responding to student and staff feedback about the kind of facilities needed to provide an exceptional 21st century learning environment.” He added: “we are proud of the University’s reputation for excellent teaching and its creative approach to learning but we need to improve our estate to continually provide the best possible education for our students now and in the future.” The aim of the new building is to revolutionise the way students learn. You can watch a presentation by Vice-Chancellor Julius Weinberg on YouTube
The initial design plans are on public exhibition on on 29 and 30 January between 10.00am and 7.30pm in Room 102 at the current Town House.
The exhibition comes as the University officially appoints Grafton Architects to design the proposed new building following a RIBA competition. Grafton Architects have a world-class reputation and the adjudication panel – which included the Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture Professor Steven Spier and the Head of the University’s School of Architecture and Landscape and director of leading firm DRDH Architects, Daniel Rosbottom, – unanimously agreed that Grafton’s proposal would give the University the building it needs to transform the learning experience. The appointment of the design team is subject to an ongoing OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) process.