House Type Elevation

House Type Plan

House Type Atmospheres

Homeless Housing

StudyLevel - BSc 2nd Year Term 1 Project

Year - 2019

Institution - WSA, Cardiff University

Unit - 1

Tutor - Catrin Oliver-Thomas

Location - Cathays, Cardiff



Cathays is a very vibrant and diverse suburb of cardiff, given the extremely transient student population base I wanted to give the residents a morepermanent and domestic solution in the form of a “Housing First” scheme.

This project began with getting under the skin of homelessness and seeing how design can positively impact the rising problem of homlessness in Cardiff. One of the main reasons homeless people find themselves in these desperate situations is through a decline in their mental health, through research and meetings with various homeless charitys I began to develop a concept for my scheme. Being

in and around green space and having a green view from a window is proven to reduce symptoms of mental health issues, this led me to the concept of‘Growth’.

This project was aimed at impacting Cathays, not only in the sense of reducing homelessness and its stigma, but adding a place of recluse, sanctuary and growth to the community. The concept I put forward to achieve this follows theme of growth and in turn a walled garden. The scheme uses different levels, plants and orientations to give the residents a heirachy of privacy which I found to be a key requirement when on the road out of homelessness. The primary material used is weathered red brick, this paired with the relatively simple forms around the site resulted in a domestic yet modern aesthetic. The red brick residential units house single people or couples, with an ensuite bedroom on a mezzanine above the kitchen diner and lounge space. Through sliding double doors leads to a private patio space adjacent to each unit, which acted as the first level of privacy for residents. I felt it was important to provide a solely private outdoor space for residence as homeless people are often vulnerable and may not feel ready to fully socialise and integrate in the main courtyard allotment space. The next level of privacy came in the form of a walkway behind a permeable brick facade, which linked the resident’s units together and formed the last barrier of privacy before the allotment. This space is important as it allows residents to meet and socialise with each other behind a wall which lets light, air and sight pass through it therefore creating a semi-private atmosphere in which residents can circulate. Finally, the main central space on the site is converted to an allotment and community garden for residents and the immediate surrounding community. This choice of space was obvious when looking back at my research and concept, the aspect of growth of produce in parallel with the growth of the homeless resident’s gives them a common goal and something to work towards which they don’t normally have living on the streets.


Short Site Section - West Facing

Short Site Section - East Facing

Site Atmospheres

Long Site Section - South Facing

Long Site Section - North Facing

Site Atmospheres

Unit Detail Section

Unit Detail Section

Site Plan and Roof Elevation

Site Plan