Charity seeks proposals to co-locate homeless accommodation with private-sector uses

The disused York Road Station in north London, which served what is now known as the Piccadilly Line

Source: Clive G / Flickr

The disused York Road Station in north London, which served what is now known as the Piccadilly Line

A charity that supports young homeless people in the capital has launched an ideas competition to explore ways to deliver hostel accommodation alongside new private development.

New Horizon Youth Centre’s drive focuses on a disused London Underground station a mile from its central London headquarters.

Competition judges include McAslan & Partners founder John McAslan, and practice associate Heather Macey, deputy London mayor for housing James Murray, and Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow, who is patron of New Horizon.

The brief for the York Road Station site calls for a design that will provide short and medium-term accommodation for up to 28 homeless 16-21 year olds, including dormitories, shared living accommodation, cultural space and additional accommodation.

The brief also requires “an independent private development opportunity on the site for either commercial or private housing” which can co-exist with the homeless facility. It specifies areas of 560sq m for each of the scheme’s components.


Source: Colander Associates

York Road Station competition site: south to north view

The charity said London’s growing housing crisis was forcing the most vulnerable people on to the streets and into “wholly unsuitable” temporary accommodation and that the competition was focusing specifically on places young people could stay safely while they found longer-term solutions.

McAslan said the competition was “an exciting opportunity” to create a design for young homeless Londoners.

“Young people are the hidden face of homelessness, often sofa-surfing or sleeping on buses, in transient housing or shelters,” he said.

New Horizon said more than 300,000 young people were seeking refuge in hostels or temporary shelters in Britain, with half of them in the capital.

The competition, which has a first prize of £3,500 and runner-up prizes of £1,000 and £500, is open until Jully 31 and is being run by Colander Associates.

Sponsors include mayoral transport body Transport for London and developer Pocket Living.

New Horizon said that while York Road Station – once a stop on what is now the Piccadilly Line – had been identified to “enable competitors to demonstrate how their ideas might work on a site in London”, it was not necessarily the intention to build the winning scheme on the site.