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Grafton’s Stirling Prize-winning Town House is “the future of education” says Norman Foster

Grafton’s Stirling Prize-winning Town House is “the future of education” says Norman Foster
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British architect Norman Foster has praised Grafton Architects’ Stirling Prize-winning Kingston University London – Town House as a “progressive new model for higher education”.

Foster, who was head of the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize jury, stated that the building sets the benchmark for future university buildings in the UK.

“In this highly original work of architecture, quiet reading, loud performance, research and learning, can delightfully co-exist,” said Foster + Partners founder Foster.

“That is no mean feat. Education must be our future – and this must be the future of education.”

Norman Foster
Top: Kingston University London – Town House has won this year’s Stirling Prize. Above: Norman Foster was head of the jury

Kingston University London – Town House was named the winner of this year’s Stirling Prize in a ceremony that took place today.

Fronted by a distinctive colonnade, the multi-purpose building contains a library and archive for Kingston University London along with a theatre space, dance studios, cafes and classrooms.

Kingston University London – Town House wins 2021 Stirling Prize
The university has a series of open, communal spaces. Photo is by Ed Reeve

“Kingston University Town House is a theatre for life – a warehouse of ideas,” continued Foster.

“It seamlessly brings together student and town communities, creating a progressive new model for higher education, well deserving of international acclaim and attention.”

Grafton Architects’ Kingston University London – Town House, which is the studio’s first building in the UK, won this year’s Stirling Prize from a shortlist that contained a mosque and a housing development in Cambridge, a bridge in Cornwall, a museum in the Lake District and a housing block in London.

It is the first time the studio has won the Stirling Prize, although its medical school at the University of Limerick was shortlisted in 2013.

The studio was recently awarded the 2020 RIBA Gold Medal, while its founder Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara won the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Photography is by Dennis Gilbert unless stated.

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