designdevelop converts billboards into houses for the homeless
designdevelop converts billboards into houses for the homeless designdevelop converts billboards into houses for the homeless
jun 24, 2014

designdevelop converts billboards into houses for the homeless

designdevelop converts billboards into houses for the homeless
all images courtesy of designdevelop




the worldwide phenomenon of homelessness has become a growing concern during past couple of decades. finding solutions is a complex task which involves a coordination of skills in socio-psychological and administrative fields. created by designdevelop, the main priority of ‘project gregory‘ is to find optimal alternatives for the existential questions of people without homes through the use of billboard objects and their advertisement spaces.


video courtesy of designdevelop

designdevelop gregory billboards houses homeless
proposed billboard house in slovakia




cities are engulfed with billboard advertisements which are expensive to construct, maintain and their subsequent renting is a costly venture. the proposal increases the functionality of the structures in a way that the insides could be turned into living spaces. such an object would produce minimal maintenance costs, which could be paid through the rental space of its façade. in addition, the architects believe, ‘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.’

designdevelop gregory billboards houses homeless
billboard dimensions are the same with the exception of the stairs that lead to the living areas




this study is based toward republic of slovakia, for the city of banskà bystrica, where it is easy to implement due to existing energy and water grids. however, the housing project is possible to apply anywhere, with the exception that its implementation must be proceeded by research for an adequate place where it may be physical realized.

designdevelop gregory billboards houses homeless
exterior visualization of the structure




partner reciprocity is focused toward firms and investors who would participate in the realization or long term rental of the involved advert space. in turn, they would be provided with an official logo, which they could place on their own companies web sites, or other propagation materials with direct links to the project website. the added value lies in an option to present one’s company towards its peers as a place of social consciousness.

designdevelop gregory billboards houses homeless
exterior visualization of the structure




the triangular shape of a billboard results in a plan divided by two rooms. the first contains an entrance hall, kitchen, office desk, stairs to a raised bed, and bedroom part under that is storage room. the second component holds a bathroom with a washbasin that is located on the wardrobe, toilet and shower corner. construction is solved with wooden joists, concrete base, oriented strand boards, wooden or steel staircases and two windows.


the project is currently looking for funding on kickstarter here.

designdevelop gregory billboards houses homeless
interior views of the bathroom

designdevelop gregory billboards houses homeless
interior views of the ground floor and entry

designdevelop gregory billboards houses homeless
interior views of the main living areas

ground floor plan


the logo is based off of the plan geometry




the work is meant to be an ‘open source’ initiative which encourages interactions among architects, designers, and artists who can come up with innovative construction methods and layout alternatives. the non-profit platform will be available for each city without the author claiming any financial benefits from its usage.

research study infographic



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • might be a little noisy, but otherwise, nice digs

    dbkii says:
  • ya.. “they´re homeless they can live by a freeway and should thank us for our ironic way to market stuff they would not be able to buy on their shelters”.
    this is totally stupid.

    anonymous says:
  • brilliant idea. love this.

    terri gillis says:
  • very smart idea! i wish people would adopt that all over the world and help out some people.

    ea/LA says:
  • Humor, no? Is the big screen TV behind a cabinet door?
    A homeless person keeps moving. This is an invitation for squatters with weapons. No one looking for free lodging would ever leave this place.


    jimCan says:
  • I quote dbkii. I was exactly thinking the same as dbkii

    Paul Nord says:
  • Such a great idea, The developers all around the world should start to think smarter and show up their social feeling,this might be a part of their work as well.

    brepto says:
  • It’s a nice design but how about just making proper houses for people in need?
    It seems luxurious, and it’s for two. Do homeless folks share their bed?
    Why would people not strip it if it’s easily accessible? Who pays for it and who pays for the power, etc?
    May be more suitable for hitch-hikers and back-packers to use on a subscription basis…

    raymondo says:
  • great design and use of the space!
    if for homeless or investment bankers, that might not the main issue here.

    David says:
  • I would defintely sell this to a pimp for crack or money if I were a homeless dude. Though thinking that some human beings could have a better life on the back of some endless marketing campaigns, sounds like a good thing. But is it? How does this kind of isolation helps one self in need of real help? How social integration occurs for this people? How is this idea sustainable?

    nick says:
  • . . . . to qualify for living one could even require that the occupant do a certain amount of cleanup for a portion of the road that the billboard is on. Keep debris off the road and keep them clean while provided housing for the less fortunate. Win-Win?

    Sean says:
  • Every couple of years someone has this ‘original’ idea. It’s exactly what homeless people don’t need: isolated, providing neither amenities nor integration into the community. This example is particularly inane. Those custom luxury finishes would be ripped out and sold within days. Fail.

    KDS says:
  • comments like seans show the kind of mindset behind projects like this.
    very superficial, ironic and badly designed too!
    just a marketing scheme, who are these actually designed for?

    Hannah says:
  • Have these designers ever sat down, stood up, wobbled with or in any way interacted with “homeless” folks? Very naive, altruistic but naive.

    Paola says:
  • It’s true this project gives off a whiff of naïveté regarding homelessness. But it also seems doubtful these dwellings would be carelessly distributed to just any homeless individuals wandering by. With this kind of investment, there would have to be a screening process to determine which indigent person would be given the keys to an apartment of this type. In the end, it might be that people receiving some kind of government assistance could selectively be offered the option of living in these minimalist residences. This project has more the feel of an experiment than a serious proposal for resolving homelessness.

    John says:

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