A new lifeline for North Cardiff
The Salvation Army’s Lifehouses provide the opportunity for homeless people to “get their lives back”. They offer not only a roof over their heads but activities and training to help improve self-esteem, mental health and employment prospects. This Lifehouse replaces the Salvation Army’s existing hostel in north Cardiff whose existing Victorian and 1970’s buildings fell short of the standard required.

Our brief was to design a homeless hostel for 26 young people located to minimise disturbance to valuable existing trees. The existing bedroom accommodation was to be retailed during construction to minimise disruption to the service provided by our client to vulnerable homeless people in the area. All Lifehouses are required to be “eco friendly” and to deal with issues of security and social interaction through their design.

Bedrooms can be occupied for long periods so facilities and their aspect are important. They all have en-suite shower rooms together with study desks and clothes storage. In many ways they are like university study bedrooms, only bigger. The BREEAM “very good” rated development has the bedrooms over three levels in clusters of four to six. They are either self catering with kitchenettes and a shared lounge, or with a combined living/kitchen/dining room. This allows grouping people by age or differing dependencies and helps increase independence. Each cluster can only be accessed by those within that cluster, which is a comfort to young vulnerable people and reduces bullying while encouraging group relationships. A carefully chosen palette of materials and colour also helps reduce any institutional feel.

IG CARPENTRY   |  Dyffryn Crescent Pontypridd, RCT, CF37 5RU 
Ian - 07929286410  |  ian@igcarpentryltd.co.uk       Gary - 07772426635  |  gary@igcarpentryltd.co.uk