Stirling Prize Winner Kingston Town House, Grafton Architects, C Ed Reeve
Kingston University London - Town House is the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize winner. Credit: Ed Reeve

GALLERY | RIBA Stirling Prize 2021 winner announced

Julia Hatmaker

Grafton Architects’ Town House at Kingston University London claimed the top prize, triumphing over the Carmody Groake-designed Windermere Jetty Museum in Cumbria and the people’s choice winner, Marks Barfield Architects’ Cambridge Central Mosque.

  • Scroll down for a gallery of Town House

The Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize is the most coveted architectural award in the country. Judged by a jury of experts, the Stirling Prize is given to the best new building in the UK.

RIBA praised Town House, calling it “a progressive new model for the design of higher education buildings”, adding that it “captures the spirit of learning and the value of community cohesion”.

“Kingston University Town House is a theatre for life – a warehouse of ideas,” said Lord Norman Foster, on behalf of the Stirling Prize jury.

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

Grafton Architects said they had wanted the building to feel like a home.

“This building is about people, interaction, light, possibilities,” the architecture practice told RIBA. “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.”

Windermere Jetty Museum took its loss in its stride, remarking that it was “still beyond honoured to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award”.

The announcement of the Stirling Prize marks the end of a busy RIBA awards season. See the rest of this year’s winners in the stories below:

Inside Kingston University London – Town House:

 

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