St Vincent’s is a day centre and hostel, and Head Office of ‘The Passage’, London’s largest voluntary resource centre for homeless and vulnerable people. Established in 1980, The Passage provides resources which encourage, inspire and challenge homeless people to make lasting and long-term changes to their lives. Since its inception, The Passage has helped over 100,000 people in crisis.
Officially opened in May 2016 by The Duke of Cambridge, St Vincent’s Centre has been recently refurbished providing an uplifting environment in which to help people transform their lives.
The three original buildings, built in the mid-1800s, always catered for the poor and destitute of the community, but were not fit for modern purposes and had become dilapidated over time. Two-years in the making, the upgrade has transformed the properties into bright, airy and welcoming spaces, including flexible conference facilities, new bed-sits and NHS treatment rooms.
The internal structure and layout has been radically changed, with three buildings made into one and the iconic façade completely redecorated. Inside, new staircases, lifts, IT rooms, library facilities, shower blocks and bathrooms have been installed, with style and durability at their core.
In the bathrooms, which include attractive WC laminate back panels incorporating scenes from London parks, Geberit Duofix frames and Sigma concealed cisterns, combined with Sigma 10 stainless steel flush plates have been installed, providing a solution that is robust and complimentary to the design.
An Interview with Natalie Spraggon, Associate at BuckleyGrayYeoman, Architects
What were the washrooms like prior to redevelopment?
“Prior to the redevelopment, the washrooms in the day centre were very dated and tired and were typically subjected to a lot of graffiti and abuse as they were the one place in the centre without CCTV cameras.“
What was your thought process behind creating more attractive spaces?
“Rather than designing something institutional and prison-like, we provided bathroom spaces that clients would want to treat respectfully. The thought process behind the park scenes, for example, is that images of natural environments are calming and therefore less likely to be defaced.“
How have the new bathrooms been received by St Vincent’s visitors?
“To-date, no panels have had to be replaced or damaged indicating that our design theory is working. Geberit’s products work really well and look fantastic too, adding to bathroom facilities that guests can feel respect towards.“