GTA Redesigns YMCA Homeless Shelter, Cardiff

Five months ago, Glen Thomas Architecture volunteered its services to design and project manage a complete makeover for the Cardiff branch of the YMCA shelter for the homeless.

The building was in a state of disrepair. The rooms, used by the residents for cooking, computer research stations and sitting areas were dark and damp with loose wallpaper and blown render, moldy carpets and out-dated furniture.

The tricky part was the fact that due to cutbacks, there was no budget!



The brief was to design a series of clean, light contemporary spaces that would be comfortable to use, encourage relationship development between users and staff and inspire the residents to use the facilities in a positive way that ultimately would assist their goals to find work and a home.

Glen Thomas Architecture sought the help of several trades people / companies, who we work with on other projects, and a huge thanks goes out to the following :



SIGMA3 KITCHENS for supplying a new fitted kitchen and office furniture - free of charge!!!

R J BUILDING SOLUTIONS (Ray Jones) for offering its plasterer / decorators free of charge

PRECISION CONSTRUCTION for offering its carpenters free of charge

QUALITY CARPETS for supply and fitting stunning new flooring throughout for no profit

It’s been a very rewarding collaborative project where ourselves, the tradespeople and also, most importantly, the residents, all pulled together to create a wonderful environment.

Our team met some of the residents who have been training to work in the building trade and happily donated their time to realise the project with us.

The project was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on ** by Councillor Lynda Thorne and the YMCA Chief Executive Andrew Templeton, where an extremely touching and memorable speech was given by one of the residents who was involved with the work, who summed up exactly what the YMCA service and the makeover, meant to him.

Ceremony and the team

Ceremony and the team

We would like to thank everyone who was involved and hope that the new spaces are as rewarding to everyone who gets to use them as it was for us to create them.