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Peikko plays a part in RIBA prize-winning Kingston University Town House project

The Royal Institute of British Architects has awarded Kingston University’s Town House, (KUTH), its Stirling Prize for 2021. The most prestigious of its kind in the UK, RIBA’s Stirling Prize is presented to ‘the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year’.

Located in Kingston upon Thames in south-west London, the rectilinear, six-storey, 10,000m2 Kingston University Town House was built in 40 weeks and opened to students, staff, and the local community in January 2020.

Well designed

KUTH features include a three-storey library, atriums, dance studios, two cafes, theatre, covered internal courtyard, external balconies and walkways, and a rooftop garden. Large, open spaces allow people, light and air to flow naturally through the building, which also uses advanced design and an embedded pipework system to reduce energy consumption and avoid the need for extensive HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning).

KUTH uses many precast elements including: internal columns supporting gravity loads from the superstructure; colonnade columns supporting gravity loads externally; wall units; hollow-core flooring, and 200 double-T ribbed floor units, to maximize structural and material efficiency, capacity, internal space flexibility, and to optimize aesthetics and services integration.   

Kingston University Town House project in UK

Peikko’s key role

Of the more than 300 offsite manufactured beam and column sections used in the KUTH construction, 38 are DELTABEAM® Composite beams, chosen for their cost-effective long-span capabilities, some in excess of 15 metres, and in line with the overall architectural vision. DELTABEAM® also importantly enabled a flat soffit solution to aid services integration.

Peikko’s proven Column Shoes and Anchor Bolts helped to accelerate construction and enhance site safety.

Mike Scott, Sales Manager of DELTABEAM® Products in the UK, says: “Peikko is proud to be associated with the Kingston University Town House project, working closely with specialist structural frame design and build contractor PCE Ltd to incorporate our DELTABEAM®s and connection solutions into the offsite design and construction. We are also proud to help Grafton Architects successfully deliver this architecturally challenging scheme and secure the RIBA Stirling Prize 2021."

Peikko has long experience of working with PCE. Its Town House project involvement included assisting PCE with re-engineering the previous in-situ scheme into an offsite ‘HybriDfMA’ (design for manufacture and assembly) solution.

More than 2,150 offsite-manufactured structural components arrived at the site on a planned ‘just in time’ basis. This sped up the build and gave environmental benefits including minimized onsite vehicle movements, personnel, disturbance, and construction waste, on what was a constrained site next to other university buildings and the busy Penrhyn Road.    

Project success

Nickie Brown, Managing Director of PCE Ltd, commented: “All our supply chain partners, including Peikko, provided a first-class service in manufacturing the precast concrete and structural steel components to our designs and specifications ensuring our clients structural and architectural requirements were achieved. This project was initially designed as a traditional in-situ concrete frame, and for it to be converted into a successful DfMA solution is a testament to everyone involved – thank you.”

Peikko’s Mike Scott says: “We have been supplying innovative solutions for many years and this high-profile award further demonstrates to the market what is achievable by using alternative methods of construction.”

Among its other awards, Town House has gained BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ‘Excellent’ certification for its environmental sustainability.  

Construction site of Kingston University Town House project


Video on Youtube: Construction of Town House at Kingston University

Read more: 
RIBA Stirling Prize 2021 (
A six storey fully HybriDfMA offsite engineered structure – PCE Hybrid (