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Kingston University Town House | Kingston

3497 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  DarJoLe
Some interesting closeup offsite precast pics from the PCE blog:-

"A total of 229 Double Tee units are being installed at the new Kingston University Town House project near London."

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It's been a while since I last looked at this project, but there's some interesting construction work going on now according to PCE's blog.

..."partially suspending the 22 tonne wall from the precast level 4 unit above - securely supporting it until the permanent structural solution was completed."

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Interesting comments on the article:

I live and work in Kingston, and spend lots of time in and around campus and this building. I had the opportunity to attend the opening of it. I have never been in a louder "study space". Sound is amplified ridiculously inside. You can hear all the noises from the dance and music spaces through the entire building. The lighting is awful. Areas that are too dark to read in, and other's clinical and cold in feeling.

The pictures in both this article, and in the original proposed presentation, make it look much nicer than it is. In truth, the building is already looking dated with the outside dirty from the main road it sits next to, the colours mirroring the 1960/70s builds around it.

The balconies are superfluous. As the building sits next to a main road, with double decker busses almost constantly stuck in traffic, and at eye level to those on the balconies, it doesn't provide private or even comfortable space. This road is noisy, as it is the main route in and out of Kingston city centre. No one is going to be spending time out there to relax. Not to mention the corridor of wind that has been produced around the building.

Is it functional? Sure. Does it deserve praise for initiative, user friendly, efficient design? Probably not.
The exterior and staircases look fine, very Chipperfield. However, that shot of the communal stairs/seating area. No daylight coming in, it just looks so washed out and drab. Polished concrete and simple forms only work when the lighting is good, or has tonnes of daylight. That's such a dismal space to sit in, totally ruins the building for me. And this was on a nice sunny UK day. Imagine a typical overcast rainy day.
Sounds very similar to my sentiments about the new University of Birmingham library, and looking at the renders it appears to have been designed following the same sort of principles: architectural willy waving and designing something which is 'trendy' rather than actually works well as a library. I found it almost impossible to work there. And of course, it won an architecture award.
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