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Shelter & Homeless Housing: Emergency Shelter Typology (Virtual)

SHH MAY 2022

Image: BackPack USA

  • COST

    Free and open to the public.

  • TYPE

    Knowledge Community



Every building type has its own program and design requirements. The difference between them varies and it affects the way we explore design solutions tremendously. Emergency Shelters can be tricky to figure out as the needs of the population change constantly. Typically, needs can differ from one person to another and the urgency to respond can vary in its intensity. This typology shares similarities with healthcare institutions, college dormitories, and correctional facilities. Some emergency shelters function as a 24-hour shelters, meaning that temporary residents can stay there at night but also during the day. Their ability to do so keeps them out of harm’s way, should the environment outside be unsafe. Besides safety, these shelters are the only hope for individuals to have a bed, a meal and a shower.

Josh O'Brien
Pine street Inn
Senior Director Emergency Shelters
Boston, Massachusetts
[email protected]

Kitty Ryan
Founding Principal
[email protected]

Moriah Arrato Gavrish
[email protected]

The Narrow Gate Architecture was founded in 1987 to build justice by creating pleasing environments for those historically underserved: the poor, homeless, and ill-housed, women, children, individuals in recovery, the elderly, and the disabled. Our name, The Narrow Gate, is based on a biblical image of hospitality and an alternative way of living.
Our clients are non-profit organizations and public agencies with whom we’ve developed longstanding partnerships statewide. Though most of our clients have limited budgets, we strongly emphasize design and the use of materials resulting in beauty, durability and responsible stewardship of the environment. We believe the spaces and places we create with our clients and their communities have a vital impact on the quality of people’s lives.