Architect Proposes "Parasitic" Sleeping Pods for London's Homeless

By James O Malley on at

Could London's homeless soon be sleeping in wooden pods bolted onto the sides of buildings? No, obviously, but that's the vision of architect James Furzer who has designed these "parasitic" pods with the aim of providing somewhere for London's 750 people a night who sleep on the streets.

The idea is that the pods would be mounted on the sides of buildings and accessible via a ladder. The pods contain fold down seating and are constructed mostly of timber with a steel frame.

Dezeen reports that Furzer has even launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding effort to raise cash to build a prototype.

At the time of writing Furzer has managed to raise just over £370 in a week (with a £7000 goal) and as well intentioned as the project is, I can't help but think that the pods are completely unworkable.

Furzer himself admits on his page that the "challenges" include:

  • Planning issues
  • Structural constraints and concerns
  • Air space issues
  • Political and social issues
  • Ownership and maintenance.

"Planning issues" to say the least - can you imagine any host building going for it? Really? Will pedestrians really tolerate pavements being blotted out by these huge structures hanging over their heads? Furzer suggests that homelessness charities could be responsible for maintaining the pods, but isn't there a bit of an elephant in the room? Why not just build more homeless shelters or conventional housing? The idea comes across more as though Furzer came up with a cool concept for a structure that hangs off of the side of another (who wouldn't want an urban treehouse?) and only later figured out the answer to "why?". [Dezeen]