On any given day, when walking down the street of a large urban city, one is very likely to encounter a homeless person, couple or family. Do you look or avert your eyes? Do you give a few coins or food? Do you wish things could be better without knowing how?
Three ambitious architects from Slovakia, Michal Polacek, Matej Nedorolik and Martin Lee Keniz of Project Gregory, have come up with a viable solution. They propose using roadside advertising billboards as the framework for modern, temporary accommodations. “Our plan is based on a massive advertisement, thanks to which we can spread project Gregory into the whole world. We only need to build first 10 houses, then [our project will be] self-sufficient and can develop on his own… The advantage is also that this facility is minimalist, but it is equipped with everything necessary for a quality life.”
Photo Credit – Project Gregory
Interior has two rooms (approximately 18 square meters)
In the first room, there is a table with a storage space, two chairs and a bed with storage space. The second room has a toilet, a basin, a shower and additional storage space.
Rendering Credit – Project Gregory
Outdoor advertising is prevalent in every major city. These billboards take large sums to construct and maintain. Project Gregory has taken an existing resource and given it an additional use – temporary housing. The electricity costs of the unit would be covered by the rental space of the ad itself, which must be illuminated at night. These architects think that “if we take the electricity cost needed for the billboard to keep it lit during night and we try to optimize it by x%, we find that this saved energy could fully cover all those interior usage needs.”
Typically, the challenge of homelessness falls on communities, states, and the federal government. This rethinks that paradigm and shifts the funding source to come from already established private outdoor planning media budgets. There is a great need to invest in temporary housing so people can start the path to rebuilding their lives.