Year | 2021
Location | Lowfield, Sheffield, UK
Clients | St. Wilfrid’s Centre
St Wilfrid’s Centre is a day centre based in a former church on the busy A61, Queens Road, Sheffield. It is a safe haven for homeless individuals, vulnerable members of the community and socially excluded adults. The centre offers welfare services, practical assistance and a sense of belonging that encourages independence and improved self-esteem.
As the St. Wilfrid’s community is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, we were approached by director Ruth Moore to provide a vision for future use that would resolve the current issues hindering the full potential of the use of the centre.
After speaking with staff members, a number of issues were made apparent to the Live Project team. Spaces were no longer fit for meeting the needs of users, the centre had evolved through a series of small ad hoc, temporary interventions that collectively inhibited its functionality for both staff and clients. The cafe and kitchen were cramped and outdated, the large hall was difficult to accommodate smaller activities and the lack of adequate storage was also affecting daily operations.
Over the course of the project, the team recognised the importance of listening to the centre’s users, and it became our mission to make sure ‘Their Voices’ are heard. We held a ‘Festival of Ideas’ that allowed us to imaginatively engage with the clients and staff to learn more about their wishes for the centre. We were able to test several design options and receive feedback from staff and users.
With that insight, we finalised an interior vision for spaces throughout the centre. We realised that this project is about listening to the community and making small meaningful interventions. The simple rearrangement of spaces dramatically improved circulation, accessibility and visibility throughout the building.
The wealth of engagement drove our design ideas and we were able to produce a feasibility document for fundraisers, highlighting how our proposal is a product of listening to the centre’s users and responding to their authentic needs and ideas. We hope the information we have gathered and the documents produced will ensure future developments at St Wilfrid’s take into account the voices of its users and staff to ensure the longevity and authenticity of the centre.
Mentor: Simon Baker
Client: St. Wilfrid’s Centre
Location: Lowfield, Sheffield, UK
Students: Anastasiia Shchagina, Antonia Quashie, Darren Lai, Izzy Mullen, Josh Zhou, Kelly Zifei Xie, Luke Morris, Qing Yu, Rongsen Lu, Thunyaporn Chettaprin, Tyler Muhebwa, Will Tankard, Yoana Todorova, Zhonghuang Li.