After winning the RIBA Stirling Prize last year, Kingston University’s library building, Town House, designed by Grafton Architects, has been shortlisted for another award this year.
The jury from the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture- Mies van der Rohe Award, will visit the five finalist buildings in March before deciding upon the winner, which will be announced at the end of April.
Kingston University’s vice-chancellor Steven Spier said: “Being named among the finalists for the Mies van der Rohe Award confirms the scale of our ambition and recognises the magnificent building that has taken shape.”
He also stated that, “Since Town House opened its doors two years ago, our students and staff have truly embraced the building, benefitting from the physical and visual exposure to different means of learning, thinking, and doing that it provides. That is, after all, the definition of a university.”
After shortlisting five buildings from a list of 40, from 18 countries the jury panel met in Barcelona to look over projects built within the last two and a half years.
Named as Britain’s best new building by the Royal Institute of British Architects in October last year, Town House is the only UK building to be among the finalists this year.
Regular Town House user and pharmacy student, Sulaiman Alomran, said: “Personally I have spent countless hours there studying and hanging out with my friends. I feel like there should be more hidden areas to sit and read in, but that’s just because I like old and huge public libraries. But overall, it does the job required of it, and it does it well.”
Town House consists of 6 floors of academic literature, books, archives, dance studios, a studio theatre, and cafes which are open to the public.