Date of Award
Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]
Eduardo Benamor Duarte
This thesis focuses on repurposing unoccupied office space into affordable housing systems tailored to meet the unique needs of homeless families. Families with children make up 36 percent of the homeless population overall and children’s homelessness status is almost always “hidden." Architecture and design can play a vital role in addressing social inequity by creating improved living environments for the houseless community through adaptive reuse of underutilized space situated within dense urban areas with the greatest access to resources to support these families, evoke feelings of comfort, security, and hope.
The following thesis accommodates three basic needs of homeless families: community, residential, and workplace for onsite support systems. Open-plan building layouts are designed to foster social interaction, while communal spaces and onsite support systems within the building promote a sense of vertical micro-community, empowering homeless families to take their crucial first steps towards societal integration, elicit a feeling of comfort and tranquility. By modifications to the building facade and slabs, balconies and atriums offer ventilation, glimpses of nature, and connections to the vibrant streetscape. More than just architectural enhancements, this aims to tangibly transform these spaces into havens that exude warmth and belonging.
The underlying strategy aims to seize current economic and development challenges, such as office vacancies, and utilize them to benefit those most in need, the homeless families. This multifaceted approach addresses the urgent housing crisis, urban development, and health issues simultaneously – respecting existing infrastructure and retooling it for future life.
Liou, Fang-Min, "Eviction to Placement: Rethinking the current supportive housing systems for hidden homeless families" (2023). Masters Theses. 1157.
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