Gus Alexander Architects


The St Mungo Association operate a number of hostels in Camden, and have found that their elder tenants respond to a much less ‘hands-on’ approach to  the places in which they live. In an initiative supported by The Corporation of London, we were asked to remodel a former women’s refuge which had been converted into a series of ‘cluster flats’ twelve years previously, and to present it as much as possible as a privately run bed and breakfast hotel.

The Lodge sleeps 40 residents and many of the bedrooms have en-suite accommodation. It offers no catering beyond all-day tea, coffee and toast, although there are facilities for the residents to cook meals for themselves, collectively or individually. The common areas are fitted out with ‘ordinary’ furniture, and access to a small yard means that residents who wish to smoke don’t need to crowd outside the front door.

We spent weeks trawling markets and junk shops, assembling various bits of decorative bric-a-brac, and managed to salvage some cast iron radiators and columns no longer required on our other sites to try and provide a less institutional feel. Much of the bedroom furniture was made in a workshop that we had refurbished for St Mungo’s in Paddington the previous year.

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New signage flanks the original St Ursula's bronze shield from 1924.

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We commissioned Giraffic Design to work with us to implement signage that was much less institutional than that usually associated with this type of accommodation.

Left: GRP columns (filled with sand) and cast iron radiators salvaged from our other sites.

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Reception area with Avenue at Milharnis printed on canvas over fire surround made from painted MDF and standard mouldings.

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Kitchen available all day for tea and toast

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Residents are responsible for laundering their own linen.
Steel bed frames prove less prone to bed bugs.