Beautiful new residential facility for the homeless set around a courtyard garden
Peter Barber Architects for London Borough of Camden
Contract value: undisclosed
Residents of hostels are among the most vulnerable in society. Holmes Gardens is a beautiful new residential facility for the homeless, laid out around a delightful new courtyard garden. Its users are in need of a secure, comfortable, warm and dry place to call home while they deal with immediate and longer-term health and support needs. This facility provides accommodation for 59 people alongside counselling, education and training spaces. Intended as the opposite of the institutional hostel format, most accommodation is in little studio houses forming terraces fronting the garden, in an almshouse typology. These micro houses have a double height brick vault with an ensuite bathroom at the back of the plan, above which is a mezzanine bed space. They are lit via the partially glazed door, pretty circular windows and a roof light. Rustic looking brick with a ‘crinkle-crankle’ parapet gives the project a relaxed, homely, domestic scale.