As more and more advertising goes online and transportation conservation becomes an increasing economic and ecological concern, what is the future fate of the infamous billboard? One proposal by Front Architects suggests turning these into lofted homes – small houses to be sure, but located in some potentially fascinating places.
Some of these unusually thin homes could be built in place from scratch, others could be transported to new locations or even left where they are in the urban environment.
As with so many good design projects the feasibility of this specific idea as such is not of singular or even primary importance – the concept of reclaimed billboards as urban housing provides a foundation for rethinking everyday urban structures, artifacts of the built environment, that we might find new and different uses for as times change.
Alas, the above image is only a computer-generated overlay in a real situation. Still, what would it be like to live in somewhere so public yet also removed from the street level? Somewhere surrounded by four walls and lifted up from the ground but at the same time exposed on all sides? Somewhere so strange but central?
“A kind of a small manifesto, it is an experimental home / shelter offer for the young / old man of today’s Western World. The basic social cell called marriage is no longer the only life model, at least at some stage. Single Hauz as a free-standing residential unit for one person fills a certain vacuum in this field: no such proposals for the so-called “Singles”. A large number in this group are young, well-educated, ambitious, energetic and very open to the world.”
“Single Hauz, inspired by a roadside advertising totem, is designed as an object that can “fit” in almost anywhere on earth. It is particularly predisposed to all locations related to interesting landscape conditions. Forest, sea, lake, mountains, meadows, but also the side of the main thoroughfare of the city – all these places are energetic food for the inhabitant of the building. The object can be erected individually, like a lonely tree in a meadow, but also works well in a group of several / a dozen units.”
“Single Hauz, which is a bit of a lighthouse, a captain’s bridge, is a bit of a vantage point and a safe haven is raised upwards. Its “chicken foot” is a structural core, which also hides all the necessary installations for the independent operation of this unit. The interior based on a rectangular projection with dimensions of 180 x 600 cm hides the basic, necessary equipment: a small bathroom and a room with a kitchenette. Depending on the option, the space between the roof and the ceiling includes: additional sleeping function for guests, accumulators, water tanks and others.”