The Murray Centre

Following a fundraising appeal which raised £4.5 million from the Downe House community, the Murray Centre has been the most significant new building project that Downe House has undertaken in its history.

A Centre for Learning

In February 2016, forty supporters joined the Foundation Office in the beautiful wood-panelled Council Room of the Royal College of Nursing, in Cavendish Square, London. Headmistress, Emma McKendrick spoke of the School’s vision for the ‘Centre for Learning’ project and formally launched the fundraising appeal to raise £4.5million.

The Centre for Learning, eventually named the Murray Centre, would house inspiring key spaces for learning and day-to-day activities: a state-of-the-art library, multi-purpose auditorium, seminar spaces, a cafe, the school shop and more. In other words, the Murray Centre would become the heart of campus.

The School was overwhelmed by the tremendous support from every corner of the Downe House community. The campaign offered supporters the opportunity to name or sponsor specific rooms and spaces, to fund learning and technology packs in the Library, to provide AV equipment, to sponsor a seat in the Auditorium or a stepping stone outside, to name but a few of the sponsorship opportunities.

The construction team moved in at the beginning of April 2017 and the whole School watched the building grow over the next year to take its place at the heart of the School campus. Opened for business in November 2018, the Murray Centre was the most significant new building project that Downe House has undertaken in its history and its whole rationale is based on the aim that it will touch and transform every girl’s education. The aim of this fantastic state-of-the-art building is to facilitate the enhancement and enrichment of learning for all. That might be a lecture, rehearsal or performance in the 250-seat Auditorium, individual learning in the well-resourced Library, socialising in the café or taking part in a collaborative learning experience in the communal areas.

Right from the start, girls and staff embraced the new space with excitement and enthusiasm, whether they were working in the Library, attending a lecture or playing chess in the social spaces.

  • An innovative, contemporary library
  • A state-of-the-art auditorium to enhance our enrichment programme
  • Flexible space for recitals, workshops, lectures, demonstrations and performances
  • Teaching and learning spaces
  • Senior room for smaller group discussions and tutorials
  • Multiple gallery areas to showcase the creative arts
  • Coffee Shop to bring all members of the School community together for informal meetings, tutorials and discussions
  • Quiet and inviting individual study spaces
  • A number of social spaces for the girls, parents and staff to relax over coffee
  • School Shop
  • A naturally ventilated space to reduce energy use which is designed to maximise daylight throughout the building
  • A thermally-efficient building envelope system with PV solar panels to generate all the building’s needs

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