Earle Architects have been asked by Depaul to prepare designs to accommodate the homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged at a ‘Safestop’ centre; one of a growing number for the charity. The centres will provide 16 clienteles at any one time access to a variety of face to face services provided by 7 part-time Depaul staff.
Throughout our design process we have used our research on ‘PIE’ (Psycologically Informed Environments) to inform and develop concepts on privacy, security, social interconnectivity and connection to nature and natural light. Furthermore, we concentrated on avoiding forms of institutional architecture that our clients are likely to have negative past experiences of.
The overall form has been derived from the pangolin mammal in a defensive mode. Each interlocking node of the building represents one of the textured scales. The internal courtyard becomes the most protected space, a place for reflection, interaction and connection to nature. Each residential unit is also provided with its own private garden, entrance and exit encouraging ownership of each private space. The proposal also includes a communal meeting space, a private meeting room and offices.