Holmes Road Studios, designed by Peter Barber Architects , provides residential accommodation with additional education, training and counselling facilities for 59 homeless people in Camden, London.
This was such an interesting case study. First designed in 2014 by Peter Barber Architects, completed in 2016, the Holmes Road Studios is a beautiful new homeless facility providing high quality residential accommodation together with training and counselling facilities all laid out around a delightful new courtyard garden. Residents of homeless hostels are among the most vulnerable in society. A significant proportion of them have a history of drugs and alcohol abuse. There is a high incidence of mental illness and the majority are workless. Many of them need a great deal of support with resolving health problems, securing a long term solution to their housing needs, learning basic life skills and where possible entering into training/ being given introductions leading to work. All residents are in need of a secure, comfortable, warm and dry place to call home. (Welch, 2020)
The buildings are constructed in a rustic looking brick with a crinkle crankle parapet which gives the project a relaxed domestic scale. All of the rooms look out over the garden, a garden with apple trees, vegetables and a greenhouse, it was hoped that there would be a group of residents working with a gardener where they will have the opportunity to develop gardening skills which would then encourage them to think about nutrition, which in turn would give them a sense of belonging, self-worth and empowerment. There was also plans to build a little room/shed for private chats and counselling.
The idea of Camden Council opening up a competition to invite architects to design a beautiful new homeless facility providing high quality residential accommodation together with training and counselling facilities all laid out around a delightful new courtyard garden, brings optimism and hope for all the local councils around the world to do the same, providing there is need and budget. What a wonderful idea.
(Welch, 2020) https://www.e-architect.com/london/holmes-road-studios-kentish-town (accessed 14.11.20)
Fig. 1 Holmes Road Studios – Micro homes for homeless people https://www.e-architect.com/london/holmes-road-studios-kentish-town
Fig.2 A model of the micro homes https://www.e-architect.com/london/holmes-road-studios-kentish-town