London architect wins award for designing shelter pods for rough sleepers

The pod designed by James Furzer. Credit: James Furzer.

An architect from London has won an award for his innovative designs for 'pods' that give shelter to homeless people.

James Furzer came up with a design for small pods that can be attached to the side of any "host" building or structure to provide a safe place for homeless people to sleep at night.

Furzer said part of his inspiration came from the growing number of metal spokes which have been appearing in popular sleeping spots to deter the homeless from sleeping there.

His design won the top prize in the 'Space for New Visions' competition organised by Farko, a global manufacturer of roof windows and loft ladders.

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The number of homeless people sleeping rough has increased significantly over the past few years; youth homeless charity Centrepoint says the number of young people sleeping rough has more than doubled over the past few years.

Inside of the design of the pod. Credit: James Furzer.

Homeless charity Shelter says 7,581 people slept rough in London between 2014 and 2015 - a rise of 16% on the previous year, and more than double the figure of 3,673 in 2009 /2010. Furzer says he hopes to finalise his design and get some backing to build the structure so that it can be available to homeless people across the city, and beyond.

The design is a simple structure, that could be easily attached to 'host' buildings, Furzer says. Credit: James Furzer

Jennifer Barnes, Head of Policy and Research at homeless charity Centrepoint said: