The era of big box stores fading away. And, believe it or not, the massive abandoned retail stores could be transformed almost instantly into housing for the homeless, using a variety of plug-and-play prefab elements. The research and development studio at KTGY Architecture + Planning in Los Angeles, California, builds supportive space complexes within empty shell stores like Sears and JCPenny.
"Re-Habit" does not get rid of retail entirely, but makes the shopping portions of each building smaller, and places bedroom pods, restrooms, kitchens, dining halls, offices, job-training rooms and other spaces behind them. The main goal is to be self-supporting, by providing training, employment and housing for residents, who rotate chores like working in the kitchen or keeping the dining hall clean. The large flat roofs of big box stores are ideal for rooftop gardening, recreation and solar panels.