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Monday, November 11, 2013

Smart & Compact Student Housing

By Udita Chaturvedi
Photography: Bertil Hertzberg; courtesy Tengbom Architects

Smart student units designed by Tengbom Architects.
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Student housing is now smarter and cheaper, thanks to Tengbom Architects. Along with Lund University students in Sweden, Tengbom has designed student units of only 10 square meters in collaboration with wood manufacturer Martinsons and real estate company AF Bostäder.

The prototype unit, currently exhibited at the Virserum Art Museum in Sweden (until Dec.8, 2013) explores the “possibilities of cross-laminated timber” for a “sustainable, affordable, environment friendly and smart unit; both, in terms of design and choice of materials,” informs Linda Camara, from Tengbom architects.

Smart student units designed by Tengbom Architects.
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The "truly compact unit" has been innovatively designed and well-thought of from a student’s perspective. It contains a kitchen with shelves and cupboard, a window with shutters that can be pulled down and used as table, a washroom, a living space with a hammock and small wooden steps fixed in the wall that lead to the sleeping loft overhead. Not to forget, a small garden and a patio as well and green interiors "compliment the wood,” says Camara.

Smart student units designed by Tengbom Architects.
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Smart student units designed by Tengbom Architects.
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In 2014, 22 such units will be ready for students to move in. Considering these units are for students, the material used ensures they are easy on the pocket too. While most flats rent out at about 4,000-5,000 SEK (around Rs. 38,600 - 48,280), these ‘smart student units’ will be rented at 2,500 SEK (about Rs. 24,140) for Lund students.

Smart student units designed by Tengbom Architects.
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Through an efficient layout and use of cross-laminated wood, the rent is reduced by 50% and the ecological impact and carbon footprint is also significantly reduced. The current overwhelming response to these units means an enhanced effort by Tengbom to come up with solutions, especially for the exteriors, to meet different weather conditions if they have to meet their growing world demand. 

Smart student units designed by Tengbom Architects.
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“To meet the future in a sustainable way, we must be innovative and have the courage to break new grounds,” says Camara, adding that she hopes their design will inspire others to think differently.

3 comments :

  1. We need this in India!

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  2. I have seen this before. Very clever use of the openings as the form for a table or desk top. I doesn't show the heat source but I am assuming a unit heater of some kind. Regardless, I find it difficult to believe these little units are more efficient than, for example, reusing existing buildings. To quote a dear friend of mine, "The greenest building is the one that already exists." Do they really need to build new little huts for the students? How much area will be required for this community of tiny homes? What about the infrastructure required for such a development? I don't know about this. They make a very cute little vacation cottage but student housing? Maybe I am too old.
    Mike
    Project Architect at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture

    ReplyDelete
  3. I see what you mean Mike. If you're gonna build something new anyway, why build these little huts? Just build a student housing building that's LEED platinum....
    Grace
    Designer at DG Architects

    ReplyDelete