Kingston University opened the building site of its new flagship Town House for the public to see the progress 10 months into construction.

During a week of visits, more than 220 people, including local schoolchildren, the mayor, staff and students, explored the site, hosted by the university and construction company Willmott Dixon.

Mayor Councillor Julie Pickering, who put a spade in the site at the ground-breaking ceremony in May 2017, said: “I was particularly impressed to be standing in the courtyard, which will be a great space where everyone can join together.”

When open – expected to be in September 2019 – Town House is hoped to be a “focal point” between the university and the community, who will be able to use the cafes, covered courtyard, library and roof terrace.

Cllr Pickering said: “Town House really is a true town and gown project, and the partnership between the Royal Borough of Kingston, the university and local community is what makes it so special.”

Construction has been able to move forward so quickly because the entire concrete frame has been “pre-cast”, i.e. made elsewhere and assembled piece by piece on site.

The building will be the first in the UK to be designed by Stirling Prize-nominated Grafton Architects.