Back to Content

Priya Nahal — Barking Road Shelter

The courtyard provides a safe and welcoming enclosure for women and children – creating a heart to the shelter and encouraging interaction.

Barking Road Shelter — Providing solace for victims of domestic violence. By Priya Nahal.



Barking Road, East Ham, Newham



To promote and develop the rights of and resources for women and girls in East Ham as well as provide a space of empowerment for women to enable them to regain their integrity and self-worth.



Gender inequality and discrimination still continues today in a world where women’s visibility is questioned and domestic violence persists. Whether this is in the professional world, the home, or in our environments, women are objected to some form of discrimination throughout their lifetime.



The project is an expansion on the current shelter organisation in Newham, ‘The London Black Women’s Project’ for minority ethnic groups and refugee women subjected to domestic violence. The shelter will allow women to enter a sensory environment that taps into the subconscious mind. A series of intimate courtyard spaces encourage women to engage in different inclusive activities and social interactions. The shelter is accessible to locals and filled with resources. It is visible within its context while also able to offer privacy and security achieved through multiple entrances.



To transform the outlook of oppressed women and provide them with the tools, education, and emotional support required to get them to become independent contributing members of society.


The internal corridor for women and children connects the communal lounge, nursery, and external courtyard. This provides a visual connection between women and their children creating an environment of safety and comfort.
There are a series of intimate courtyards that have different environments allowing for women participating in different activities to take ownership of the space. Uses are clustered around them which allows for visitors and women to always walkthrough or past a garden. Public facilities line the streets edges creating a barrier to more private activities and interaction within the heart of the shelter.
Threshold and balcony views overlooking the external courtyard. Curved balconies and integrated wall seats provide levels of interaction for women and children. These also allow for vulnerable women who feel anxious to enjoy communal activities from a distance.
Allotment courtyard for women to grow their own produce, spices, and plants which can be later sold in the shops. Enhancing skills and increasing confidence.
There is a scale between public and private within the shelter. As levels ascend up facilities such as accommodation become more private, whilst more public communal activities are on the ground floor.
There is always a visual connection into the internal courtyard spaces and interior spaces allowing for staff and women to be able to see through other parts of the shelter increasing security and safety.

Further work 

Contact Details