First billboard with built-in homeless shelter planned for spring 2015View gallery - 8 images
Earlier this year, Gizmag featured a concept that proposed using billboards as shelters for the homeless. The company behind Project Gregory suggested that income from advertising on the billboards could subsidize the shelters' running costs. It now hopes to build its first such shelters next year.
DesignDevelop says that its concept of a billboard-house was initially drafted in September 2013 and first presented publicly in January this year. The response was said to be skeptical, but the company says it continued to optimize and develop the project nonetheless, eventually launching it proper in June.
It was at this point that DesignDevelop says it expected the idea to fizzle out, but instead it was widely featured in newspapers and on blogs around the world. As a result, the company has further developed the concept and provided more information about it.
The Gregory shelters are triangular and are raised upon stilts with a wooden staircase for access. The shelters provide 18 sq m (194 sq ft) of floor space split into two rooms, one for living and sleeping and the other a bathroom with additional storage.
The shelters have wooden OSB (oriented strand board) walls and ceilings, and are designed to have a modern look and feel. "Wooden wall facing looks modern and comfortable, but at the same time it’s not expensive," explains Martin Lee Keniz of DesignDevelop, on the project's Kickstarter page. "We decided to compose it in a modern way because we want to motivate people, so they will start to work on themselves, they will faster get back into the society and they will faster earn some money for their own living."
Amongst the planned features of the shelter is a table with a storage space, two chairs and a bed that provides additional storage space. The bathroom will feature a toilet, a basin, a shower and further space for storage. Both on-grid and off-grid versions of the shelter are planned. DesignDevelop estimates it will cost £41,000 to produce a prototype of the version that will be connected to the electricity, water and sewer systems, and a further £60,000 to create an additional off-grid version with independent systems.
Assuming it can raise the funds, DesignDevelop says it will build the first on-grid prototype in spring 2015 (Northern Hemisphere). This will be used for practical testing and to refine the design. A subsequent run of 10 shelters is planned for summer 2015. Individuals can contribute to Project Gregory at the Kickstarter page.