The other day, I came across the inspiring story of James Furzer, a London based architect who put forward an ambitious proposal to tackle the capital – indeed the UK’s – severe homelessness problem.
6500 people sleep rough on the streets of London every year, which is a 77% increase from 2007. On average, homeless people die at just 47 years old. They live in conditions beyond our worst nightmares, and are regularly subject to abuse and attacks. With the uncontrollably increasing housing prices, this problem’s unlikely to reverse any time soon.
Inspiring why? Obviously, the cause is a worthy one and the implementation of this plan would help a lot of those in most desperate need. Inspiring also, because it’s great to see truly highly talented people put their skills to the benefit of the greater good.
The proposal is to create modular parasitic sleeping pods that can be attached to the side of any host building or structure, allowing a safe haven for the homeless during a nights rest, sheltered from the harsh and unpredictable weather conditions of Britain. The system can sit as individual shelters or as a community of pods. See picture below:
The pods would provide temporary shelter for the homeless and could be managed and maintained by local charities. They would be installed above pavements as to clear the way for pedestrians. Access would be provided by way of ladders.
The pods are designed to be made on a budget with the material applications being of a variable nature. This will not only allow costs to be kept to a minimum, but will also allow a material selection with a colour palette similar to that of the intended host building. In other words, it will allow the parasitic pod to blend in with its surroundings. The simple internal material selection will provide a warm, dry, and comfortable environment to stay in.
James, we need more people like you. Keep up the good work.