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Architecture for Humanity 2021 Edition

Design of a Homeless Comfort Station in New York

Design of a Homeless Comfort Station in New York

The workshop, carried out in collaboration with New York Department of City Planning and tutored by BIG, focused on the topic of “comfort stations” and of "homeless shelters" that can guarantee various fundamental services to the weaker section of society in one of the most iconic cities in the west. Thanks to the workshop, students had the opportunity to deal with a current topic that is also unconventional, which seeks solution to real problems in a well-being context, but at the same time sign of enormous complexities and social inequalities. In the dialogue with the New York Department of City Planning, students have had the occasion to design a holistic experience, which will integrate theoretical and practical aspects of social and natural sciences, with also design, engineering and planning concepts in the urban context. The workshop has also defined a multidisciplinary method aimed at the inclusion of citizens, in order to create a more liveable New York, open to everyone and full of life.

New York City Department of City Planning

Downtown’s skyscrapers, Hudson River, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge: it is not possible to give a description of one of the liveliest cities of contemporary collective imaginary. Economic Capitol of the United States, entertainment center, holiday destination and homeland for about 9 million of inhabitants, New York it is a very complex city, where different languages are spoken in the world, about 200, and in which a third of the population was born abroad and then migrated in the United States. Icon of welfare and progress typically western, NY during the years had to deal with numerous crisis: not the last, a big social disparity between the most affluent people of the nation and entire districts of disadvantage population, especially in case of immigrate community and ethnic minorities. The America system is based on opportunities, but it is led to make difficult the access to base service for some population sections, like education and health care. Therefore, NYC qualifies itself as an extraordinary architectural and social laboratory where it is possible to experiment architecture that can be defined humanitarian.

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