Portable Shelters for Homeless or Refugees Designed by ZO_loft

Wheelly portable shelter for refugees or temporary homeless, ZO_loft design image
Migrated Image

ZO_loft Wheelly: Shelter Cart

The quest to find a suitable, if not ideal, solution to the problem of people dislocated from more permanent housing is a pressing issue which many designers take very seriously. The challenges are great: housing must be readily portable but robust enough to protect the homeless or refugees from the elements. It must be extremely cost effective. It should preserve some degree of dignity for people who are already suffering loss.

The Italian group ZO_loft architecture & design (Andrea Cingoli, Paolo Emilio Bellisario, Francesca Fontana, Cristian Cellini) now adds their vision to the concept of temporary shelter. The ZO_loft Wheelly is private, portable, and offers a clever trick to solve issues of cost. For pictures of the Wheelly and an expanded-view explanation of the Wheely design, check over the fold.

Wheelly portable shelter for refugees or temporary homeless in use, ZO_loft design image

ZO_loft Wheelly Concept
Integration. Recyclable. Status Symbol. Shelter. Stall. Cart. Sponsor. City Language. Privacy. These words beckon from ZO-loft's flyer. Status symbol? Yes, indeed.

As the businessman is the one with the overnight bag; the homeless will be the one with the colored wheel, no more a begger.
Wheelly portable shelter for refugees or temporary homeless - expanded view, ZO_loft design image

ZO_loft Wheelly Design
The elements from which the Wheelly is assembled are numbered in the image above:

  • (1) 250 liter cloth bag
  • (2) Reflecting colored rubber rim
  • (3) Folding polyester resin tent, weight 160g/m2
  • (4) Rubber tire
  • (5) Aluminum frame
  • (6) Pressed paper rollers, serve as bearings
  • (7) Sponsored insulating rubber disk
Wheelly portable shelter for refugees or temporary homeless, interacting, ZO_loft design image

ZO_loft Wheelly Interact
You can place two wheellys together at the wheel to share space with a friend for a while. Both can sleep in the dualy-wheelly with the cloth stuff-sacks hanging between if they can tolerate the womb-like space offered by only half-a-wheelly. Which brings us to our one-and-only critique of the wheelly: it appears that the wheel creates a substantial intrusion into the tent space, exactly at the middle of its length. This would seem to make a comfortable night of sleep a challenge.

Wheelly portable shelter for refugees or temporary homeless with integrated functionality as a cart or a chair, ZO_loft design image

ZO_loft Wheelly Integration

But in other regards, Wheelly represents fantastic creativity as an all-in-one habitat solution. Wheelly can carry and store personal possessions; up to 250 liters of stuff travels comfortably hammocked inside the wheel structure, then holds down one side of the caterpiller tent when at rest. Wheelly can be set up in an intermediate expansion to serve as a sheltered chair (sketch below title of this article). And an insulated rubber disk on the side can carry a sponsor's message, helping to make the units available at low cost to those in need. The Wheelly is also designed to be disassembled and is 100% recyclable. Certainly, ZO_loft has made a worthy contribution to the ongoing cause of designing like you give a damn. And perhaps to a generation of "Wheellers" who will laugh at the old-fashioned back-packers of the previous generation.

A look at other concepts for temporary shelter include the Pallet House, the energy efficient Hexayurt, and a DIY Dome home.

Via: Paolo Emilio Bellisario of ::ZO_loft