Haworth Tompkins has won planning permission for a scheme to refurbish a ‘robust factory-esque’ building for Kingston University
The firm, which won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2014, is proposing external alterations, recladding and roof works to the 1970s New Extension building on the eastern part of the university’s Knights Park campus at Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey.
The plans also involve the demolition of two student flats to create better access to the building and make room for new workshops.
A Kingston University spokesperson said: “The university welcomes the approval of its plans to update the internal layout and façade of the New Extension building at the Knights Park campus.
‘The work will deliver new workshops and studios equipped with the latest design technology, ensuring Kingston School of Art students continue to have access to the state-of-the-art facilities needed to realise their creative potential.’
The university’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture is based at the campus and in September will revert to its original name of Kingston School of Art.
The design and access statement submitted by the practice to planners at London Borough of Kingston said: ‘The New Extension is a robust factory-esque building that has a good underlying bone structure.
‘There is a virtue in working with the building as far as possible and avoiding wilful gestures in an attempt to suppress its character.
‘Our proposals seek to retain and re-use what works well – the articulated concrete frame, the engineering brickwork, the sculptural stair and lift towers – and replace elements that are worn out or contribute negatively to the performance or appearance of the building.’
The latest approval comes three months after work started on the university’s new flagship building, Town House, by Grafton Architects. The £55 million project on the university’s Penrhyn Road campus includes a resources centre, a 300-seat auditorium, rehearsal and performance spaces and three new public landscaped areas.
Jane Drew Prize winners Grafton Architects were asked to rethink their original proposals for a huge 9,320m² block after they were criticised for being too large for the site (AJ 24.03.15).