Project Three: Urban Housing

Eunoia (n.) – a pure and well-balanced mind, a good spirit “beautiful thinking”


More than nine out of ten women living in Glasgow are lone parents. Facing unique challenges being both the sole carer and the main source of household income, often a troubling balancing act. Children in lone parent families are at twice the rise of experiencing relative poverty when compared with children in couple familes. Council ward areas in Glasgow like Calton face some of the biggest welfare losses in Scotland, while also having some of the highest rates of child poverty and lone parent familes.

Those children with mothers who are lone parents, are living on low income, who have recently separated from a partner or have an illness or disability are at greater risk of experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Domestic violence and abuse is a complex issue that can co-exist with other health or social issues.

Survivors are abused where they should be the most secure: in their own homes.

Supportive housing, in the form of a sheltered community will provide these women and children with a physical environmnet to help their situation and to promote their future independence. Environmental factors can have an impact on women’s psychological sense of safety in this time of transition. It also plays a role in the perception of connection or separation from public life and their ability to have a sense of community. The spacial setting of the shelter will have a positive impact on health, recovery, and wellbeing. It will provide an array of services like legal, psychosocial and mental health.

The existing building on Moncur Street and the ground floor of Bain and Stevensons Street will respond to the surrounding area of the markets, therefore they will be small retail units where the public can rent them out weekly / monthly etc.

To the far West of Stevenson Street a cafe will be the first point of safety for the women and children who will live in the shelter. It acts almost like a hotel reception, where staff will escort the women and children through the back of the cafe upstairs.

The second point of safety will be the reflection garden, this gives  the women a chance to rest and take a break before they venture into their new lives. Some office spaces have been added as well to help with this.

From here they will pass through an archway, a symbol of transition from their past life to their new one. A glimpse of this from the garden will promote a curiosity within children from the garden itself.

Once passing, they enter the internal courtyard, where their last point of safety comes. Children can play freely from their rooms here and women can chat to one another.

Over 60 women and 40 children can occupy the shelter and some services such as a daycare, therapy and a communal kitchen are available for all of these users.