Product / system manufacture
Product / system supply
South East England
Downe House School
Elements XL Seat & Bench - Plate Ends
Downe House is an independent girls' day and boarding school near Newbury, Berkshire. Founded in 1907 by Olive Willis, its first headmistress, the school’s first home was Down House in the village of Downe, Kent, which had been the home of Charles Darwin. When the original site became too small the school moved to its current location in the village of Cold Ash, where it remains today.
Downe House won Tatler's ‘Best Public School’ award in 2011, with notable former pupils including The Duchess of Cambridge, journalist Clare Balding, comedian Miranda Hart, and Sophie Dahl, author and granddaughter of Roald Dahl.
A new campus masterplan for Downe House has driven the reconfiguration of access and parking, with a new Learning Centre - serving as a hub for key learning and day-to-day activities and including a library, auditorium, teaching spaces, cafe, shop, social space and offices - being the first building project to be delivered by the plan. Situated at the end of the school’s main entrance route, the Learning Centre’s strong form and glazed east elevation create a physical and visual draw into the campus. Although a new macadam surface was laid up close to the front elevation of the building, gravel has since been overlaid on a rectangular area that respects the geometry, scale and materiality of the building.
Furnitubes supplied new furnishings to complement this new open space. Bespoke steel planters define the boundaries and create a sense of enclosure, and Elements seating offers both staff and pupils an attractive place to sit and relax.
All steelwork was supplied in a corten-effect PPC finish to complement the window frames on the Learning Centre. Seating timbers were treated with a UV protective finish so that they maintain good colouration for as long as possible on this very sunny site.