A company known as DesignDevelop first drafted the Project Gregory back in September 2013. The plan aims at making use of the income that is earned by advertising on the billboards to reduce the running cost of the shelter that is built inside the billboard. The concept was first made public in January 2014 and received much skepticism as a response. The company still continued to work on this peculiar project and launched it in June this year.
Upon the launch of this project, the company was expecting it to diminish, however, much to their surprise the project became famous and was featured on a number of blogs, websites and newspapers thus encouraging the company to develop it further and materialized it into something much more than just a concept.
The Gregory shelters have been designed as triangular structures that are raised by employing the use of stilts and makes use of a wooden staircase for granting access. The structure has a floor area of 18 square meters divided into two rooms; one being the living/sleeping room and the other room working as the bathroom that has additional storage as well.
The shelters sport wooden OSB (Oriented Strand board) ceilings and walls. They have been designed to impart a modern feel and look to the whole structure. Martin Lee Keniz from DesignDevelop says; ‘Wooden wall facing 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 on themselves, they will faster get back into the society and they will faster earn some money for their own living.’
The shelters are also supposed to contain a table that comes with storage space, 2 chairs and a bed that also has storage space. The bathroom shall house a toilet, shower, basin and even more space designated as storage space. The company has planned two versions of the shelter; on-grid and the off-grid version. According to DesignDevelop it will take about £41,000 to construct a prototype of the version that shall be connected to the water, sewer and electricity systems. It would require £60,000 to create an off-grid version that shall contain independent systems.
Given that the company manages to raise funds, DesignDevelop has plans to come up with the first on-grid prototype in Spring 2015 (Northern Hemisphere). This prototype shall be used for the sole purpose of testing and design refinement. There is a total of 10 such shelters to be constructed is Summer 2015.