"Halfway Home" thesis / research

Stage: Complete, 2017

Location: Soho in London, UK

Type: Proposal

Size: L


An estimated 400,000 people in the United Kingdom are affected by homeless. The most obvious to the public are those rough sleeping, of which London has seen in increase in recent years, with 2016 seeing an average of 964 people sleeping rough on an any given night. 

For a myriad of reasons, individuals find themselves homeless, sometimes not even realising their circumstances at first. The complexity of the individual’s need requires an architecture driven by an acute investigation of the needs and opportunities in temporarily housing them.

Key issues considered:

1. Knock-on effects from being homeless: downward spiral,  tackling the issue immediately is key

2. ‘Shoe-box’ spaces for accommodation and day care centres ineffective; specificity more successful

3. Location: providing long-term accommodation for homeless far outside of the city is a waste of resources

4. Well-being & confidence. First address these,  only then can you focus on skills training  and independency

5. No/Little sense of home. Similar to the above, many on the streets have little desire to return to permanent housing

6. Storage: hugely fluctuating spatial issue

7. Disconnect: there is a need for a closer link between council/government’s method/type of support and the reality of homelessness’ required support

It suggests a need for specificity of programme and experience, the opportunity of certain spaces overlapping, and connecting with various user groups of different backgrounds. Design plays an absolutely vital role in addressing the well-being and stablization of those who are homeless.