Following successful testing of our prototype pods in Hillingdon, we have installed a further 10 of our demountable sleeping pods at the 999 Club in Deptford. The design is the second iteration of our proposal that won Commonweal Housing’s Starter for 10 Competition in 2017.
The pods, each measuring approximately 2x2m each, are fabricated from 8 standard plywood sheets using CNC milling technology and are designed to be erected without screws, nails or glue using specially developed interlocking connections. They can be built singly or in a row, with side panels shared with the adjacent pod to reduce the amount of timber required.
At the 999 Club, the pods have been installed in a large open hall where mattresses would normally be laid on the floor around the edge of the space. The pods help to provide privacy and a sense of security for the people using them.
Communal sleeping does not suit everyone but it’s been recognised that having access to private space can help some long-term rough sleepers to make a first step into more standard accommodation.
An independent evaluation of the pods was carried out by Leila Baker over the winter of 2018-19. She found that the Pods were “universally liked and welcomed” by guests and staff at the Crashpad Shelter, the 999 Club and the Islington Glass House. The report can be downloaded from here.
It is hoped that the design can be adopted by other community groups and we’re working with Commonweal and Housing Justice to give support to shelters around the UK. Cutting and assembly instructions are freely available for charities to use under a royalty-free license.
We’re very grateful to Deptford-based company Aldworth, James & Bond who fabricated and installed the pods at the 999 Club for free.
Photographs: Cameron Maynard for Aldworth James & Bond
Film: Simon Wye for Aldworth James & Bond