International students' blog – LTH

Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design students write about life at the Faculty of Engineering LTH

The Big Impact of Living Small

OpenStudio.se Bokompakt Student Housing; Illustration by Pontus Åqvist

Lagom is the Swedish art of balanced living. Is it possible to have a lagom home as well? When I moved to my room in a dormitory, I thought the plan area was too small. It is common in student housings worldwide to have tiny rooms but is it the same case here in Sweden just to make the student housing more efficient and affordable? Is this only limited to student housing?
The first project that we had in our studio was to design a micro home with a maximum floor area of 25 square meters suitable for a couple. It was an architecture competition from Beebreeders, and our entry received the honorable mentioned prize. That project helped me to learn many new things about how efficient our homes are. Do we need that vast storage room or a huge closet where you can get lost!? It is hard to tell what is the minimum size for a home! It depends on many factors, context, users, needs, etc. National regulations gives a fixed size for this  but it is an interesting topic to rethink spatial organisation and incorporate new approaches in designs for micro home. 

AFBostäder Youtube
AFBostäder Youtube

Bokompakt; Sweden Most Compact Student Apartments
In the north-east Lund at Kämnärsvägen, there are many different student housings such as Delphi, Proto, Kämnärsrätten. One of these attracted my attention at first sight, Bokompakt with its green facade. Then I started to read more about it. You can see how close this area is to LTH here.

“The houses offer student housing with villa quality and small-scale density instead of large-scale corridor housing. Several houses are close together, with the front door directly to the outdoors and close to your own garden.” OpenStudio Architects

From 25 to 10 sqm

“If you want to build homes that students can both afford and want to live in, it is necessary to think out of the box and be brave. By optimizing the living space, we in partnership with AF Bostäder managed to reduce the Bokompakt dwellings from today’s requirement of at least 25 sqm down to 10 – thanks to the fact that the Land and Environmental Court approved a deviation from Boverket’s building regulations.” Tengbom Website

Impact on Living Style

As one of the most significant debates of the current time, climate change pushes designers to minimize construction influences. Building in sustainable and eco-friendly materials, using renewable energy sources is one way we all are familiar with. It is easier to control the smaller portions’ impacts, so having a smaller building footprint eases this process. In addition to the less effect on the environment, living small changes our daily habits. Going back to my experience of living in a dormitory with a room of 15sqm, I found that it had a significant influence on my perspective about how much space I do need. I got used to having just a lagom amount of clothes, books, decoration, etc. More importantly, when it is time to move, you will be grateful for living small because your boxes are lightweight!! 

 


from the book Lagom; The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne
21 February, 2021

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