Faculty of Design
Environmental Design - Interior Design Specialization
The Richmond Center
Homelessness in Toronto is a growing problem that lacks attention and care. With over 8,000 individuals currently homeless, the city has inadequate services to help address this problem. Overnight shelters are only a temporary fix to get people off of the street for the night, but not long term. The objective of my project is to provide overnight shelter but to also provided all the services one may need to help get them off the street permanently and into a position where they can support themselves. Located at the accessible location of 384 Richmond Street East, the Center is in close proximity to Fred Victor Housing and the Regent Park area. The Richmond Center will be an uplifting environment that provides accommodations for individuals and families, and those with pets. The first two floors of the Center will be comprised of public spaces in zones, while the remaining three floors are private floors for overnight stays, each with its own shared communal kitchen and lounge spaces. The building will be inclusively designed to accommodate all visitors while featuring design elements reflecting nature. Natural design elements are proven to be calming and inviting spaces. By creating a Center that incorporates comforting colours, wood tones, curving forms, and open and airy spaces, visitors will feel more relaxed and safer, and in turn, may encourage their return. With a calmer atmosphere achieved through natural elements, visitors may feel less intimidated to ask for assistance and it may help limit hostility and theft sometimes experienced in other shelters. For those that may not be ready to receive assistance, or may not be ready to enter the building at all, large outdoor spaces with semi-private gardens have been provided to the West side of the building where an individual may stay if they deem this to be more comfortable until they are ready to enter. From the exterior to the interior, this Center is designed to facilitate hope and empowerment by meeting the needs of all individuals that wish to visit. This is their community space.
“Turning a place of forgotten heritage into a place of hope for the future. This project aims to create a better future for one of the most neglected communities in Toronto. By utilizing an abandoned heritage building, we are able to bring back life to the site and create a place of hope for the homeless community’s future.”
Celebrate the work of OCAD U’s class of 2021/2022!