Emergency modules for homeless

Emergency modules for homeless

Gonzalo Guzman
Community Centres

Emergency modules for homeless

Gonzalo Guzman as Architects

The idea of designing an emergency shelter came as I was making a trip from the city of Cordoba to the city of Salta in Argentina, a road trip that normally takes 9-10 to hours by car took us almost 14 hours due to the heavy rain and closed roads. As the trip continued I could see many towns flooded and all of its inhabitants waiting at the side of the roads. They waited several days before they could return to their homes, sleeping in cars and other improvised shelters, no tents were used because they did not were suitable for the wind and heavy storms.  


The main idea was to design a very simple shelter that could be easily transported and easily built. The dimension would permit to stack many modules and carry them in any truck. Each module consists in a rigid structure of panels that can be folded to make transportation easier.

This module can be adapted to any situation where emergency shelter is needed and the rigid panels can be made of any material according to the availability. The simplicity of the structure is in response to effectiveness and economy.


A problem has grown due to economic and social crisis all around the world and its the increase of homeless people, and as I mentioned before, these modules can be adapted to any emergency situation, so I believe that architects can help to improve homeless people lives from our place. 


The folding adaptable modules are units that can help to solve immediate need for shelter for people who do not have a place to live. But the need for an appropriate shelter is not the only problem homeless people have, and that is why I tried to design a place where they can feel comfortably and also a place where they can develop their working skills and if they don’t have any skills, the possibility to develop one, so I came up with the idea of a three steps program that can help them, but this is a multidisciplinary activity that also requires that organizations and governments take actions as well. 


First, the living modules can provide appropriate shelter and a secure place to live for a period of time.

Second if the selected person does not have any working skills, they would have to learn one in order to keep living there, but if they know how to perform a job, they would have to teach it to someone else.

Third, once they can work, some of the modules can provide a place where they can carry out with their jobs. 


The modules are designed with a free floor plan son it can be adapted to any situation according to the need. Panels can be added and modified in order to create separated rooms inside them. The panels could be made of any material that resists all kind of weather and also the pass of time. 


Another thing that is important is the fact that no professionals skills are needed to build these modules, a basic understanding of the building scheme is enough to rise a house.

Project Credits
Villa Tonden
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Villa Tonden

Private Houses
Tonden, Netherlands - Build completed in 2019
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