Homelessness has become a growing concern during the past couple of decades. Many solutions to this problem have come up over time and now created by DesignDevelop, a Slovakian architecture company has created a project by the name of ‘Project Gregory’, to find the best alternative for people without homes through the use of billboards and the advertisement space involved.
Cities all over the world are full of billboard advertisements which are expensive to construct, maintain, and renting them is quite costly. Project Gregory proposes to increase the functionality of the structures in a way that the insides could be turned into living spaces. A project like this would produce minimal maintenance costs, and the cost for renting the billboard would cover other expenses. Currently this project has been proposed for the republic of Slovakia, for the city of Banska Bystrica, where implementation is easy due to energy and water grids. This project can be applied anywhere.
The architectural design team from Slovakia came up with a brilliant idea of how to transform these billboards into homeless shelters. The two-room apartments would be built around the triagular shape of the billboard and feature a kitchen, an office space, a bed with some storage underneath, and even a bathroom. Though there are only digital visualizations to go by, the idea behind this is truly promising. DesignDevelop started drafting the plan in September 2013 and hopefully the first billboard with a built-in homeless shelter will be seen in Spring 2015. When the project was presented publicly in January this year, it didn’t receive a positive response, but the company continued with development. Eventhough the company thought the idea would flop, because of it being featured in newpapers and on blogs it has given the project new hope.
Martin Lee Keniz of DesignDevelop says the shelter looks modern and comfortable, but at the same time it’s not expensive. “We decided to compose it in a modern way because we want to motivate people, so they will start to work themselves, they will get back into society and will earn money for themselves.” DesignDevelop estimates it will cost 41,000 pounds to produce a prototype of the version that will be connected to electricity, water and sewer systems.