Homeless people exist in every country. In 2018, according to a survey conducted by the British charity Shelter 320,000 people are homeless in the UK, 13,000 more than the previous year. 

Before the 20th century, Britain had enacted many laws and aid policies for the homeless. For example, it is required to provide housing support to the homeless. Although the UK is trying to reduce the number of homeless people in all aspects, the number continues to grow.

In recent years, due to the increasing number of homeless sleeping on the street, it has often been reported on the news how these people are being frozen to death during the cold winter months, alongside violent attacks carried out by mindless individuals. 

In contrast to this, according to records held by the government, more than 200,000 homes in England were recorded as empty for at least six months during 2016. These houses are also referred to as ‘ghost homes’. The question that arose from this was, ‘why don’t we use vacant dwellings to create a safe space for the homeless?’

My proposal is to design a community by re-purposing a vacant building located in the heart of Preston’s city center, near Winckley Square. That will serve the homeless and offer the occupants an opportunity to rebuild their lives. This project is envisioned as the second phase of the return of the homeless back into society. Some homeless people who are dependent on drugs and alcohol would be directed towards a specific area for treatment and psychological counseling before joining the second phase program. 

My aim to highlight this issue and bring more social attention to the homeless and facilitate their eventual return to society.

Site analysis

This location is located in the center of Preston and is located in a busy area with a lot of people. At the same time, this location is closer to Preston Railway Station. Convenient transportation. The bustling downtown area and the train station area have more homeless people.

This location is in the Winckley square conservation area. Winckley Square was the first planned residential expansion of Preston at the beginning of the 19th century. A mixture of nineteenth and twentieth century commercial and retail buildings on a historic thoroughfare in the north, with their origins in the medieval street layout and burgage plots. Fine Georgian town houses, mostly dating from the early nineteenth century and stepped back from the pavement to allow light to cellars, with some smaller middle class terraced houses, around Winckley Square in the southern part. 

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Project instruction

This project will become a comprehensive service center for the homeless. In addition to meeting the basic physiological needs of homeless people, they should try their best to meet their psychological or other needs. This project is a space to welcome homeless people rather than a space to reject homeless people. 

Targeting homeless people is prone to fighting or drug use and the project may not prevent this from happening. So this project needs to be run as the second phase. Some homeless people who use drugs can go to clinics and other treatment places for treatment and psychological counseling before joining the program. I hope that homeless people can improve their situation after using this project.

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Layout plan

The main function of this chapel is to communicate, and people can drink some coffee or some simple food. To avoid conflicts among the homeless, alcohol and drugs are prohibited in this project, and homeless people need to respect each other. In addition, this small reading room can satisfy those who have reading needs. On the second floor of this chapel will be a gallery designed as a mini-workspace of art. Art can be a productive way of portraying emotions. Finally, there will be a donation area at the entrance of this chapel. People can donate some books or clothes or even some money for the homeless.

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Section A

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Section B

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Rendering 1

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Portfolio Details

Portfolio Categories

  • Degree show 2020
    • Master of Interior Design