Eduardo Lacroze, of the architecture firm Lacroze-Miguens-Prati, has designed the Rolling Shelter for the homeless. Lacroze designed the portable shelter to solve the needs of the homeless related to storage of belongings and mobility.
The shelter folds up into a square box that fits on top of the wheels of a shopping cart in the space between the cart’s cage and the bottom metal grid. When it is in stationary mode, one side folds down into a bed area. The shelter has an integrated Thermarest pad and side compartments for storage space.
The Rolling Shelter is made of a layered composite. Reinforced fiberglass on the outside sandwiches a honeycomb material on the inside that traps air. This insulates the shelter from the elements. Metal handles that are on the side when the shelter is in the mobile position become feet when it is in the parking position.
The design for the Rolling Shelter won a Small Project Practitioners award organized by the American Institute of Architects in association with Mad Housers, a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta that helps the homeless. LMP donated the prototype, and the firm is now working on new versions of the design.
The shelter is designed to be assembled by non-skilled workers with just a screwdriver. It currently costs about $500 to produce one of the shelters. Lacroze hopes to reduce the cost by using donated shopping carts and getting other corporate sponsorship. He is also seeking grants and support from the government. He would like to see the shelters used in a way similar to a bicycle share, where they can be picked up and dropped off as needed.