Townsend Building opens at Cranleigh Prep

Anthony Townsend, Cranleigh prep pupils, Mike Wilson
Anthony Townsend, Cranleigh prep pupils, Mike Wilson

An innovative new building opened on July 1 at Cranleigh Preparatory School (CPS) in a ceremony led by former long-serving chairman of governors, Anthony Townsend.

The Townsend Building, situated at the heart of the school, houses a state-of the-art facility for design, art, sciences and food technology.

Clad in timber that blends with the surroundings, the building has a balcony perfect for watching sports.

Integrated into the established buildings, it will provide learning for many generations of children.

It was launched on speech day before pupils, parents and Old Cranleighans, who enjoyed tours of the new facility.

The celebrations brought mixed emotions as the day was also a time to say farewell to current headmaster, Michael Wilson, after ten years of excellent service to the school.

The Townsend Building was his brainchild and he worked closely with award-winning architects, Tate Harmer and contractors Blue Forest to ensure its success.

Mike said: “I am delighted to see the completion of this incredible new facility for CPS. I have really enjoyed working with Tate Harmer and Blue Forest over the last two years to produce an incredible learning space that is sustainable and beautiful as well.”

Mike will not be leaving the Cranleigh family of schools as he takes the helm of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi in September.

Incoming headmaster of CPS, Neil Brooks, who joins from Fulham Prep Schools, was also present at the launch.

Rory Harmer, partner at Tate Harmer, said: “Working on buildings such as the Eden Project has given us an extensive knowledge of carefully inserting structures into some of the most sensitive natural settings.

“We wanted this building to respond to the surrounding landscape and create an opportunity for students to be engaged and interact with it.

“This new building on the school site will improve learning and set the tone for the future development of Cranleigh Prep.”