A Billboard Home for the Homeless by DesignDevelop

For this first time since the Second World War more than 50 million people were displaced by conflict and persecution. The rising number of refugees has resulted in designers striving to produce affordable relief units. This solution from DesignDevelop isn’t focused on refugees in particular, but aims to provide a more permanent form of accommodation for the homeless.


DesignDevelop - Gregory Project - Billboard Houses - Homeless Housing - Exterior - Humble Homes

The Slovakian firm, DesignDevelop has created this tiny triangular home with a footprint of about 16.5 square meters (178 square feet). The house is intended to be built along highways or busy roads so that its side-walls can double as advertising space, effectively making it a live-in billboard.


DesignDevelop - Gregory Project - Billboard Houses - Homeless Housing - Bathroom- Humble Homes

The structure is raised off the ground level, like a billboard, and can be accessed by a small staircase. With two of the walls being occupied with advertising, only the rear wall provides an opportunity for any window openings – who would want to look out onto a highway anyway.


DesignDevelop - Gregory Project - Billboard Houses - Homeless Housing - Entrance - Humble Homes

The interior features a rather luxurious looking finish (although it is just a concept model). The walls and ceiling have been clad with sheets of wood, and the floor contains white tiles. There are also recessed ceiling lights, funky modern furniture and a cantilevered toilet. I imagine the high-end spec would be reduced if this were to be built for the homeless. Affordability tends to govern such projects.

DesignDevelop - Gregory Project - Billboard Houses - Homeless Housing - Bedroom and Living Area - Humble Homes

The house manages to squeeze quite a lot into such a small and awkward space. There’s a bathroom with a shower, toilet, sink and counter space to the end of the building facing the road. The rest of the home is open plan and contains a raised sleeping area with storage below, a dining/study area and a galley kitchen.

DesignDevelop - Gregory Project - Billboard Houses - Homeless Housing -Floor Plan - Humble Homes

While DesignDevelop have aimed this concept at providing for the homeless, I can also seem a market for it in young professionals – a high-end finish not unlike that of a yacht, close proximity to the city center, good road access (hardy-har), and the possibility of earning money from advertising. You just might need triple-glazed windows.

For more tiny houses check out this rustic modern tiny house that’s available for renting through AirBnB. Or Vivood a prefabricated tiny house in Spain that’s powered by solar panels. See all tiny houses.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: DesignDevelop

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. This makes infinitely more sense as a possible student housing concept than ‘relief’ for the homeless.

    Sadly if so available in urban areas such ‘properties’ would become havens for drug addicts and provide new ‘homesteads’ for criminal activity that plague such locations.

    It’s a wonderful concept, just likely one being too costly and too.difficult to manage to be workable let alone profitable.

  2. With this shape it could be duplicated and fashioned into row houses for students. Double up the size and you have two homeless living as neighbors. An enclosed cage below for bike storage and the responsibility to keep the place clean, wash the solar panels, check the battery bank would give them ownership of the space. No they don’t own, if the rules are broken back to the shelter. The common area could have cameras and sensors that would record bad activity while the interior would be private.
    The interior would be solid surface and reparability and cleaning. Homeless would earn the opportunity to reach this level of accommodation. The city would collect ad revenue. The homeless could build the prefabricated structures. They could work on a landscape/grounds crew that maintain the areas.

  3. Build them as two-storey duplexes housing two to four people. Provide a closed garage at the wide end for storage of bikes, lawn mowers, etc.