Shelter from the Storm in North London by Holland Harvey Architects | Yellowtrace

Shelter from the Storm in North London by Holland Harvey Architects | Yellowtrace

Shelter from the Storm in North London by Holland Harvey Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Holland Harvey Architects are the brains behind this sensitive redevelopment, transforming a disused North London supermarket into a place the homeless could call home. Shelter From The Storm (SFTS) is a London based charity and shelter that provides 42 beds, freshly cooked food and holistic support to its guests, helping the homeless to reintegrate back into society.

It was important for Holland Harvey to connect to the heart of this project, the people using the shelter. The design focusses on providing an environment that was warm and reflective of a home, a place that feels safe and embracing.

“In order to develop the design, it was fundamental to understand the mindset of a guest entering the shelter for the very first time. Sensitivity, domesticity and warmth became driving principles,” said the architects.

Throughout the project, each detail was carefully considered ensuring robustness, a sense of dignity and ownership for the guests. Bedrooms and bathrooms are based upon typical domestic typologies. For example, sinks and mirrors are separate, providing guests with something of their own within a communal space.

 

Related: Food for Soul’s Refettorio Felix Soup Kitchen in London by Studioilse.

 

Shelter from the Storm in North London by Holland Harvey Architects | Yellowtrace

Shelter from the Storm in North London by Holland Harvey Architects | Yellowtrace

 

The other aspect they addressed was deconstructing the preconceptions around homelessness. Holland Harvey approached this by employing transparency. When there is transparency, there is no space to create illusion or misconceptions. This idea was implemented through the design and by the development of the community cafe.

“An essential part of our undertaking was to understand and respond to preconceived ideas around homelessness and the homeless,” said the architects. “Our approach to this was to embed the idea of transparency into the scheme. This was achieved through the insertion of new windows and internal openings that allow views in, out and through the space.”

They also engaged this concept of transparency by creating a community café where the homeless could engage and mingle with the rest of the community at large. “By inviting the general public into the shelter, they are simultaneously invited into the debate about how to demystify homelessness,” explain the architects.

 

Shelter from the Storm in North London by Holland Harvey Architects | Yellowtrace

Shelter from the Storm in North London by Holland Harvey Architects | Yellowtrace

Shelter from the Storm in North London by Holland Harvey Architects | Yellowtrace

 

A bright red front door greets the guest of SFTS. While the café has a large and open frontage, the shelter entrance is intended to be private and familiar. Upon entering, visitors are greeted with an entrance space that is domestic in scale with a smaller private room directly adjacent, allowing some space for repose before progressing into the main shelter. Moving through the building, the scale of each space slowly increases, supporting a smooth transition to the open kitchen and dining area.

Exposed whitewashed bricks with oak floors and contemporary round pendant lighting makes the café/dining space light and airy. Soft greens and pale pinks lends to the overall feeling of coming home, of being peaceful and safe. Every inch of the communal areas feels like a vibrant contemporary dining experience. Holland Harvey have achieved their goal to design a welcoming, safe haven, not just for the guests but for the local folks too so that the community as a whole can feel welcome and engaged.Click To Read Entire Post

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