Architects design a transition centre for homeless youth.

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Architects design a transition centre for homeless youth.

May 27
23:35 2022
Today’s youth make a safer tomorrow!

Youth is said to be the driving force of a nation’s economy. Their position is hyped up as they represent business owners and leaders of the coming future. But their position in society is falsely indicated as many of them are struggling to make ends meet in their present. For them, the future remains uncertain. Homelessness is on the rise in almost every city around the world. Different sections of the population face this issue due to a myriad of reasons from inflation and economic problems to scarcity of resources. Affordable housing demand has surged in the last few decades.

The population of youth being homeless is a huge concern in developed countries. This community is especially vulnerable since they lack stability, support, and guidance at this age. They face unique challenges, as they bounce from one housing system to another.

How can we create a stable home for the unguarded youth in dense urban cities?

Homelessness is a condition that is forced on youth due to collective socio-economic reasons and varying personal circumstances. The state of helplessness can have a deep impact on the psyche of any young individual. There are several issues that may push young people towards homelessness. Any type of abuse (physical, mental, sexual, narcotic), joblessness, or generally being outcast due to impairment or sexual orientation. As they turn to the streets and society to escape the danger they fear facing at home, they are exposed to new urban threats. Besides the pressures of making it on their own, they are susceptible to crime, harassment, mental depression, or trauma from past experiences that make life difficult for them. Unemployment, in particular, would be a concern to youth due to lack of education, skills, or access to job facilities. 

Will a housing solution be sufficient to uplift the at-risk young individuals?

The competition was to design a transition center for homeless youth with housing and other facilities that would equip them with skills for independent living.

It is to be designed so that an array of services can be provided to the youth that come from diverse backgrounds in order to help them give a safe, stable, and inclusive home. It must also act as a learning center to help them acquire life skills, special skills, and create networks. The well-being of young people is a priority. Homeless people often face prejudice in society so it is necessary that the center design is in harmony with its neighboring context. The spatial design must be flexible, low maintenance, and economical to host multiple users over short durations. It will be occupied for not more than 1 year.

The aim is to create a healthy community for young people. Privacy and interaction must be guided in the layout as per the nature of the activity. The aesthetics and functionality must be balanced to create a mix of open and closed spaces. 

The jury for the competition consisted of esteemed designers, professionals, and academicians from around the world. The Lead Jurors for the competitions were as follows: 

Pooya Baktash, Co-Founder, PARTISANS, Canada

Guillaume Fafard, Architect, Quinzhee Architecture, Canada

Some of the Best competition projects are as follows:

Winning Project: The Front Porch House

By: Kaja Lewandowska

Description: The main challenge in designing a youth transition center is to create not only a model that can be placed anywhere in the world but a building that both: suits the location and represents an image/dream of a home.

Jury Comment: interior court +++

People’s Choice: Toronto center for homeless youth

By: Patrycja Koska

Description: The idea behind the project was to create a safe center for homeless youth, where they can prepare to start an independent life. The place provides mental support, care, and help in starting a professional career. It is adapted to holding lessons and professional workshops. Young people will be able to receive the support of career counselors.

People’s Choice: Honey home

By: dx s, qilin cui, MA JC & haiyong liang

Description: A haven for vulnerable teenager.

Checkout detailed entries here.

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