Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Critical Practices Research Group

Zero Flat

Zero Flat Welcome Area

Situated in the centre of Barcelona (Spain), Zero Flat is a new type of apartment for chronically homeless persons with difficulties adapting to housing due to high levels of social exclusion. The project undertaken by Daniel Cid, Francesc Pla and Eva Serrats began with an invitation for critical input to Arrels Fundació, an organization that assists the more excluded homeless persons. Despite the permanent emergency in which a foundation of this nature persists, Arrels provided the live context in which innovation and collaborative work could be pursued; and which enabled the development of novel solutions, unlike existing, and typically less successful models. The project drew upon the experience-based knowledge of experts and volunteers from Arrels, while engineers and construction sector companies contributed technical knowledge, expertise and funds. As both a working facility for homeless persons and as a conceptual model for subsequent iterations, Zero Flat represents a long-term social design project (bringing together the third sector, direct beneficiaries and the building industry), leading to the co-production of knowledge. Zero Flat was conceived to look, feel and operate differently to conventional homeless accommodation; to provide support in an environment that distances itself from the ‘homeless atmosphere’ that characterises most places of support. The first iteration of Zero Flat accommodated seventy-seven people between 2017 and 2019, three quarters (74%) of whom left the street and saw their circumstances improve. In 2018, Zero Flat was awarded best design project of the year by the ADI Culture Awards.


See more about the project:

Daniel Cid, Francesc Pla, Eva Serrats (2019) “Zero Flat: The Design of a New Type of Apartment for the Chronically Homeless People” European Journal of Homelessness (13) 2: 75-92:

ADI Culture Awards news: 27.07.18 /Awards “The best of the best!”. ADI FAD Website: [accessed 29/06/2020]

“Premios ADI 2018 Premios Delta, Medallas ADI y ADI Cultura” Arte & Diseño Barcelona: [accessed 29/06/2020]

“Premios ADI 2018 / El mayor reconocimiento al mejor diseño industrial y de producto” DXI magazine, 6/07/2018: [accessed 29/06/2020]

“Descubre todos los Ganadores de los Premios ADI 2018” Experimenta: [accessed 12/08/2019]

“Mucho y muy buen diseño: ADI Cultura” Diario Design 18/06/2018: [accessed 29/06/2020]

Slideshow image
Slideshow image
Slideshow image
Slideshow image
Slideshow image
Slideshow image
Privacy Settings