There has been a drop-in centre, based in an old caravan in the grounds of St James Church, Piccadilly London, since 1982. Run by the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy in partnership with the Church, it provides a much-needed service for the people of London. The original caravan became decrepit so we were approached to design and make a shepherd’s hut replacement.
The available space happened to be ideally suited to a traditional 12’ sized shepherd’s hut, clad in dark green painted wriggly tin. Working with Zak at the centre, we designed a shepherd’s hut with a door on the side, an open area for comfortable chairs for consultations, and a kitchen worktop with electrics for making refreshments.
It was also important that the hut would be a quiet place of safety and solace to those who may need it. Access was also a consideration, as the gardens are grade one listed and cannot be disturbed. A crane and smaller spider crane, were hired on a Sunday morning to lift the shepherd’s hut into the grounds from Jermyn Street.
There is something obviously nurturing about a shepherd’s hut, and this is possibly the most nurturing shepherd’s hut of all. The logistics of accessing the busiest part of London, albeit on a Sunday, were overcome and the crane company carefully manoeuvred the shepherd’s hut into position after we had removed the old caravan. We were invited to the opening of the new shepherd’s hut, and were overwhelmed to hear some of the stories of past counsellors who provide such a wonderful service in the heart of London. A fitting use for a modern day shepherd’s hut.