Integrating functionality and security
The New Horizon Youth Centre (NHYC), a highly regarded day centre for young people in the London Borough of Camden, launched an architectural competition to design high quality short to medium term accommodation for homeless 16-21 year olds alongside private sector housing or commercial space, within the redundant Grade II listed York Road station.
Careful consideration needed to be given to the individual requirements of each user group, particularly regarding privacy and security. Rather than simply occupying adjacent space, our proposal is based on creating a mutually beneficial relationship between the two functions that is sensitive to their needs yet creates a truly integrated community.
Co-Living and Co-Working
Hostel residents will be encouraged to spend time at the nearby NHYC during the day. Movement patterns allow for shared and independent occupation of the community space throughout the day, encouraging a harmonious relationship between both the users of the building and the general public.
The flexible community space, The Service Yard, is conceived as a blank canvas which can be programmed and re-programmed throughout the day. There might be yoga at dawn followed by a shared breakfast; bicycle maintenance in the morning and a food market at lunch; haircuts in the afternoon and a film screening in the evening. It houses functions which support busy workers, activity to engage homeless residents, facilities to extend the reach of the NHYC and services to draw in the general public.
The changing programme is enabled by a series of movable storage units. These can be wheeled into position and opened, folded and rotated to create an array of pop-up services. Activities can change hour by hour and day by day. When not in use, they can be folded away and discreetly stored.
The facilities provided within the service yard are designed to provide simple conveniences for the users of the co-working space. As such, a percentage of the membership fee will be paid directly to the charity to support its ongoing maintenance.
The yard is directly accessible from both the hostel and commercial space although each area can be isolated if necessary. This allows the space to be hired out to host events, generating a further income stream.