Safe Harbour — Architecture Competition by

‘Safe Harbour’ competition launched to Challenge to design a portable shelter for the homeless by

Fig: 1 — Homeless people struggle to survive on a daily basis.

Homeless in the city

The United Kingdom has always been well known for its artistic skylines and sharp structures that showcase the loyal British world. Irrespective of the changing times the way Britain was perceived hasn’t changed. For it still stands tall in terms of its culture and royal heritage.

Like many of the other countries that have developed rapidly; the UK is also one of them. For it has housed one of the richest people in it. But on the other hand, due to the changing economic conditions and the rapid rise in the prices of housing all around the world and the price of living in the UK has also increased.

This is disrupting the lives of a lot of people who wish to but cannot afford a house in the city and need a shelter that will at least help them seek shelter during the severe weather changes.

How is this issue affecting the people and what measures can help in curtailing its rise?

Fig: 2 — They tend to take shelter in public spaces on a temporary basis, while their nourishment and hygiene requirements are neglected.

A shelter for protection

Currently, there are 153,000 homeless people in Britain. These people are the ones who are from a lower economic zone. And are living in the city with the help of public shelters that act as a temporary refuge.

The climatic conditions and the price to pay to live in the UK are comparatively very high. Moreover, there are very few low-cost accommodation facilities available for these people. These people only have shelter are the public spaces that protect them from severe weather changes.

Change like this began years back when the economics of this country was changing rapidly. And ever since then the number of these people hasn’t decreased. This is not only alarming but also calls for help for these homeless people who are in dire need of shelter.

How can we address this issue effectively? What measures will help us in creating an architectural solution to this problem?

Fig: 3 — The lack of space forces people to start creating temporary spaces of shelter to protect themselves from the weather.

Brief of the Competition

What this needs is an innovative and creative method that can provide these people with a home that they can live in.

Brief: This challenge aims to create a portable prototype shelter for the homeless in which they can spend their night and can carry it around with them.

The prototype has to be the one that can be installed and folded back when they need. Thus creating no permanent structure that can cause hindrance according to the laws.

Creating such a product that will help them have a shelter and a basic covering against the changing weather in the UK.

Design Objectives

Portable: The shelter must be compact and lightweight so that it can be carried or transported over distances.

Modular: The design of the shelter must be modular so that its replication in large numbers is possible.

Agile: The installation and dismantling of the structure must be done in less time and effort.

Economical: The material and technology must be local so that the construction is economical.

Context: The design must respond to the (existing) site conditions. The wider socio-cultural, economic and environmental settings are to be considered in the design approach.

The above objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. Participants can freely assume their user group and contexts according to their designs.


In Foldable State: Maximum permissible covered area should be 20 sq. mt with minimum corresponding volume.

In Static State: The total covered area used for stretchability/expandability should not exceed 50% of 20 sq. mt.

The height can vary but the space that it occupies has to be 20 sqm and temporary.

Find all the competition brief, terms, and other registration guidelines on this

page: Safe Harbour | Low-Cost Design Competition on UNI | About

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