Floor plans for the Carnegie Centre Washroom Design and Renovation.

Carnegie Community Centre Washroom Design and Renovation


Vancouver, BC

The Carnegie Community Centre is referred to as the living room of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and aims to create a welcoming environment for all. The facility is located at the intersection of Main and Hastings Street in Vancouver, BC and provides social, educational, cultural and recreational programming, as well as critical amenities for vulnerable and underhoused individuals in the area. 

This project was one of two initial projects prioritized through a Universal and Inclusive Design Feasibility Study that reviewed 31 city-owned facilities. Increasing and enhancing the washroom facilities at the Carnegie Community Centre was prioritized through this work as it addresses critical life and safety needs for a vulnerable population.

The design response addresses this life and safety need for safe and inclusive washrooms by tripling the capacity of washroom facilities by creatively repurposing existing circulation space. The dignity of patrons is balanced with safety and security needs through enhanced visibility into shared spaces, privacy inside washroom facilities, and the inclusion of an overdose detection sensor system and doors that staff can easily remove if needed. To prioritize accessibility and inclusion, the renovation includes an adult change table, limited mobility washroom stalls, and high visual contrast material and signage considerations. The material and finishes selected aim to honour the heritage building while creating an elevated experience that isn’t overly institutional.

The renovation of the Carnegie Community Centre will not only have a major social impact on the community it serves but will increase the building’s long-term adaptability, durability, and resilience. 


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