Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Yesterday, after months of preparation, the
College finally moved into its new headquarters at 21 Prescot
Street. In this special blog entry our President, Professor
Sue Bailey, tells us her thoughts on RCPsych's Big
"I believe myself to be a fairly calm and
pragmatic individual – but I have to admit that yesterday was an
emotional day for me. Being able to welcome 150 College staff into
their new home at Prescot Street was an experience I will never
"There was hesitation and expectation as I waited for the first
staff to arrive. Then, as they streamed into the building, and
started exploring and finding their desks, their buzz and energy
made the empty offices really come to life.
"Change is never easy, and I cannot thank our
Chief Executive, Vanessa Cameron, and staff across our Facilities,
IT and Finance departments enough for the absolute dedication they
have shown over the last few months. Their hard work has made the
transition from two buildings – in Belgrave Square and Mansell
Street – to one building in Prescot Street – appear seamless.
"Yesterday, I was also thrilled to
welcome the very first College members to the building.
"They were our RCPsych Research Fellow
in Sustainability, Dr Daniel Maughan,
and the Chair of our Western Pacific
International Division, Dr Ian Soosay (see photo left, which
shows Ian in front of our elegant new reception desk).
"I should point out that Ian hadn’t
made the trip from New Zealand specifically to see our new building
– he was actually en route from Lisbon back home to New
"But of course it was very exciting to
have the opportunity to show him his College’s new home.
"On the lower ground floor, we have a
fantastic new restaurant – Café 21. It is a great place to eat and
meet, and the members’ area is just waiting for you to come and
relax, work and network in. Don’t forget that we are offering all
members one free lunch (up to the value of £5) in Café 21.
Please book in advance by emailing our Reception Desk, quoting your
membership number or name. You can pick up your
voucher from Reception on arrival.
Members are invited to visit Café 21 to enjoy a free lunch. The
restaurant, run by caterers Artizian, offers a wide range
of hot and cold meals, drinks and snacks
“On the ground floor, the beautiful
Antiquarian Room is publicly displaying our collection of rare
psychiatric books and dissertations for the very first time in the
College’s history. The ground floor is also where we have our
library and members’ area (see photo below). Those people who had
visited our old offices at 17 Belgrave Square will recognise many
familiar objects including our Presidential portraits, sculptures
The members area offers ample space
for members to work, network and relax. The beautiful
new Antiquarian Room is behind, and the Library to the
"And, of course, the stunning chandelier which
dominated the reception area at Belgrave Square can now be seen –
in all its delicate beauty – in Prescot Street’s spacious,
double-height atrium (see photo below). It really is the perfect
blend of old and new, hanging alongside three brand-new video
screens showing video art works.
Visitors to 21 Prescot Street enter a spacious reception area.
They can look up into a double-height atrium, lit by the
stunning English crystal chandelier that was gifted to the College
The old is cleverly blended with the new - including a
trio of video screens displaying video art works exploring the
theme of mental health.
A glass staircase leads visitors up to the first floor, which
houses our new conference area - capable of holding events for up
to 250 delegates.
"I cannot praise highly enough all the countless workmen who
have played their part in delivering this fabulous building to us
on time and within budget. Project management company Watts Group PLC really have done a
great job in managing this. I would also like to thank everyone
from Area Sq, our design and
build contractors, who have created such beautiful spaces. Taking
advice from our Members’ Advisory Committee, they really have
understood the essence of who the College is and what we do.
"I am in no doubt that yesterday will stay
with me as a kaleidoscope of memories. I look forward to seeing
many of you in your new College very soon."