like many major cities around the world, san jose is looking at methods to improve the quality of living for its 4,000 homeless citizens, mainly through offering small, secure and reliable housing. in this instance, gensler unveils two concepts for 80–to–140 square-feet sleeping cabins, just one of the city’s ideas for their housing initiatives. the designs have been created to not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also efficient, safe, practical and comfortable.

gensler conceptualizes micro-home communities for california's homeless
render of the ‘better together’ concept
all images courtesy of gensler



the year long initiative by san jose was approved by the city council, according to mercury news. to deliver this program, gensler proposes two designs; ‘folding home’ and ‘better together’. the former appears like folded origami with glass windows, whilst the tiny space provides room for a bed, locking door and wooden storage shelves. the other concept is shaped by a contemporary slanted roof with a small living space and large windows.


despite the american architectural firm’s designs, the city’s biggest challenge for the initiative though is said to be in deciding where to put the mirco-homes. communities, which will house up to 25 homeless people until 2022, can only have potential sites recommended if they are at least 1,320 feet away from schools and 530 feet from residential homes. the selection process involves a new scoring matrix which ranks sites by points awarded on its size, ease to develop, and land ownership.