Updated: Thursday, 10 July 2014 23:58 | By Agence France-Presse

Slovak architect turns billboards into homes for the homeless

As some European cities install spikes on pavements to prevent homeless people bedding down for the night, one architect in Slovakia plans to give them a proper abode -- made from billboards.


Slovak architect turns billboards into homes for the homeless

Slovak enviromental activists cover a controversial Slovak Telecom advertising billboard near the High Tatra Mountains at Vazec on June 4, 2004 - by Joe Klamar

The Gregory Project uses advertising hoardings, usually placed along roads in a V-shape to be visible from both directions, to create small but functional homes for the homeless by adding a third wall and a roof.

Slovak architect Michal Polacek told AFP he hopes his novel design will "help the homeless to return to normal life, find a job and eventually find a better place to stay". 

Polacek's one-bedroom triangular homes include a kitchen and bathroom and are powered by solar panels or connected to the same network that lights the billboards at night.

He says the cost of building the homes can be covered by billboard advertising revenues.

"I was inspired by a friend who once pointed at a billboard and said 'Hey, I could live up there!' and also by the desire to help those less fortunate," Polacek added.

He has yet to construct his design but says it is available as a free, open-source platform for anyone wanting to use it.

The installation of pavement spikes to stop homeless people sleeping outside a London building sparked outrage last month, with 40,000 people signing a petition calling for their removal. 

More information on the Gregory Project is available here

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