Architect designs sleeping pods for London’s homeless

In London, the growing homeless population is proving to be a large inspiration for those looking to help. We have seen the impact of ‘homeless’ spikes in urban areas and the subsequent protest against them, but government policy is still not directing a focus towards the issue.

As such, an architect in the capitol has designed an innovative solution to support the city’s growing homeless population.

James Furzer, an architect from Dagenham, has won an award for his ‘pods’ designed to be attached to ‘host’ buildings for temporary relief from the elements and perils of sleeping on the streets.

The shelters, which will be accessible during the day and especially over night, are made of an affordable and sturdy untreated plywood, held up by a steel frame.

The pods hang above eye level and are designed to be accessed via ladder, which leads up to a mattress and a makeshift living area, surrounded by insulated walls.

James Furzer/Rex Shuttershock

James Furzer/Rex Shuttershock

There are 750 people sleeping rough in London every night – a 77% increase since 2010 – and two-thirds have been subjected to abuse from the public, according to Furzer.

It was this growing sentiment of treating homelessness as a ‘burden’, along side the proliferation of anti-homeless spikes across London’s city, that sparked Furzer’s interest in making a difference.

Jennifer Barnes, Head of Policy and Research at homeless charity Centrepoint shared Furzer’s vision, stating:

“It’s really encouraging to see talented people like James focussed on tackling the growing problem of rough sleeping in the capital.

Anti-homeless spikes, which have concerned James and many others, are a short-sighted response which has added to the stigma of homelessness, and failed to address the root causes.”

James Furzer/Rex Shuttershock

James Furzer/Rex Shuttershock

Although the pods are still in design phase, Furzer is hoping to receive enough funding to get the pods out on the streets.

“The concept never once states that this will cure the homeless issue, and prevent homelessness altogether. I would like to think this could be one step forward in helping the homeless…”

Would you like to see these pods in your city?



Billboards are being turned into homeless shelters

The issue of homelessness is a global epidemic. Millions across the world face the fear of sleeping without shelter, warmth or food, on a daily basis. However, an innovative architectural firm are hoping to change this, even in the smallest of ways.

A team from Slovakia have come up with an idea to provide temporary housing for those without it.

By utilising advertising space across the highways and main roads, the team have designed a tiny studio apartment that would also serve as a billboard.

The tiny apartments would feature a kitchen, an office space, a bed with storage underneath and a clean bathroom.

DesignDevelop, the team behind the project explained that their design is simple yet effective: “The Gregory project brings optimisation to the construction of billboard structures. Such an object would need just a minimal maintenance cost which could be partially paid through the rental of its advert space”.

These designs are only visual interpretations of what the final product would look like, but the team are excited about providing opportunities to assist the community, with such a cost-effective and simple idea.

The homes are being trialed in Slovakia because of the easy access to water and electricity – due to their grid system, but with slight adjustments, the design team say the system could be implemented into any country.