Student unveils innovative housing model to support domestic violence survivors

A University of Dundee student has designed a new housing model which looks to help support domestic violence survivors rebuild their lives in safety.

Lucy Troughton unveiled the blueprint as part of her final architecture project. It comes amidst a rise in cases of domestic violence and abuse which have subsequently put strain on current social infrastructure.

The 25-year-old explained that the model, dubbed Housing First, would not only provide shelter for domestic violence survivors but also a place for them and their families to thrive.

The proposed development is divided into two blocks of accommodation and contains 55 homes for single-mother families escaping domestic violence and abuse. The unique design puts safety, security, and privacy at the forefront – with ‘cutting edge’ window design and additional elevation to protect residents.

The design ensures that outsiders are unable to get in or see residents, with specially angled doors and ‘invisible apertures’ all designed to prevent unwanted visitors from looking in. The invisible apertures are described as a ‘key feature’ in the model, with them creating the illusion of a brick wall from the outside while allowing light and air in from the inside.

Lucy said, “I was inspired to focus my project on housing for women who are victims of domestic abuse facing homelessness as there is currently a shortage of available accommodation in Dundee. 50% of domestic abuse cases involve a child and currently only around half of Dundee homeless shelters allow children. Alongside that, there is a shortage of council houses for larger families.

“It has also been proven that putting someone in a permanent home as soon as possible will vastly reduce their other risk factors for homelessness. All of this made a very compelling case for me to look at families facing abuse.”

Lucy’s design is on show at the university’s Graduate Showcase, which celebrates the extensive achievements of graduating students from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and the department of Architecture.

The Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Showcase 2021 is available to view by clicking here.