Town House will create major new entrance for university

Willmott Dixon’s strong presence enhancing UK universities to make them world leaders has been further strengthened with a £41m contract to build Kingston University's landmark Town House building.

The Town House will be a key feature of the University's Penrhyn Road campus and is the first phase of its £260 million programme to transform the entire estate.

The new building will act as the University's front door, providing information and assistance, showcasing achievements and supporting collaborations with industry and the arts. It will include a learning resources centre with library, a covered courtyard designed for events, innovative learning and local civic engagement opportunities, plus specialist space providing flexible learning areas for academic dance courses.

Designed by RIBA award winning Grafton Architects, construction of the Town House is set to start in spring, with completion for the start of the academic year in 2019. It replaces an outdated, temporary building with a new environmentally sustainable BREEAM Excellent high quality design that offers a vibrant new face to the University and a welcoming gateway to Kingston upon Thames.

The landmark building will also transform the learning experience and bring together the university and the local community, with a welcoming and attractive new landscaping scheme across the front of the campus. Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Steven Spier:

"The Town House will be transformational – a place in which students, staff and local people alike will be able to learn and develop."

Willmott Dixon already has a long track-record of enhancing university estates, using its knowledge of live-environment working to minimise disruption. It’s £300 million recent workload includes creating a ‘living-green wall’ for Teesside University, building and extending Birmingham City University’s Curzon building, creating Bournemouth University’s new flagship ‘Fusion’ building and Leicester University’s Passivhaus certified Centre for Medicine.

It was recently appointed to build an annexe to the Schuster Building for the University of Manchester which is home to the School of Physics and Astronomy and has just completed an upgrade to the University of Derby’s STEM building and new campus in Scarborough for Coventry University.

Work at the Town House will be carried out by the company’s local Cobham team, with Roger Forsdyke, managing director at Willmott Dixon in Cobham saying, “We are delighted to be working with Kingston University to realise this fantastic first phase of its transformation programme. Being based in the area, it is a fantastic opportunity to use our skills to help Kingston University achieve its plan for growth and development as a leading UK university.”