Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Manifesting the Imagined Homeless Body: A Case Study of the Men’s Social Services Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

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Abstract:  In this article, we explore the changing ways in which the homeless body has been conceptualised by architects and providers of accommodation for single homeless individuals. Tracing developments from the post-war period to the present, we focus on the needs and characteristics of single homeless individuals as they are variously imagined and constructed through the architectural design process. Through detailed examination of the life course of the Ryder & Yates-designed Salvation Army Men’s Social Services Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, we explore how conceptions of the homeless body—shaped by, inter alia, architectural references, professional orthodoxies, and prevailing ideologies of homelessness—influenced the lived experience of the building. In so doing, we bring renewed attention to the capacity of architectural design to generate and shape the affective responses of the single homeless body, and thus the architectural profession’s vital role in tackling the homelessness problem.

Keywords:  architectural design; homeless body; hostels; single homelessness; social control



© Oliver Moss, Adele Irving. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.