Got your Swedish Style On?

16 Aug

Recently, while I was working on an exciting Commercial ISBU project that is developing in Texas, a new pal of the blog reminded me of a home he’d seen in a trade publication. I’d seen it too, in fact, I’d planned (even scheduled) a post on it, to be aired in October…

But the more I thought about it, the more I think it bears looking at NOW. More and more people are asking me about building “Row Houses” out of ISBUs.

This is a perfect example of what could be…

Note that this home ISN’T built from ISBUs, but it COULD be. And I think that once you look at it, you’ll see what we saw, when we looked at the photos.

Corten Coolness, just waiting to happen!

First, a word about the architects that did the deed:

(The following, in part, was taken from their own website);

ELDING OSCARSON is a recently started office run by Johan Oscarson and Jonas Elding. The collective experience is covering both Swedish and international architecture, from museums to private houses, interiors, furniture and product design.

Jonas Elding (on the left… or is it the right? Hmmm…) was an associate at Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA), Tokyo, for 7 years, in charge of the design for the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

The institution has moved from SoHo to the Bowery, turning its back on an upscale environment and embracing its gritty roots. The 60,000-square-foot museum was built on a $50 million budget.

Johan Oscarson (the “other guy” in the group portrait) was an associate at Sandellsandberg, Stockholm, for 7 years, in charge of the designs for Villa Nilsson and the interior for the OMX headquarters.

They say:

“Our aim is to challenge a variety of architecture and design tasks and by means of a solid process find new solutions, ways to live, or atmospheric qualities. We look forward to leading a pragmatic workflow influenced by site, program, budget or other parameters, making every project unique, real, and story-telling.”

Okay, so they say it in Swedish! But that’s close… ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what I say;

I love what they do.

Want an example? Of course you do! It’s why I wrote this post!

Here’s a townhouse they executed in Landskrona, Sweden.

“The narrow site is sandwiched between very old neighboring buildings. Three thin slabs are projected into the open volume, softly dividing its functions. The continuous interior space is opening up to the street, to an intimate garden, and to the sky.”

I know what you’re thinking, but stay with me huh?

Are ya getting it? Can you feel the coolness? Hmmm?

Is this not “bright and airy? Hardly “Corten Cell” stuff…

Can you feel it? Did the temperature just drop? I’m telling you, this is a “cool” wave coming…

Brrrrr! It’s getting COOL in here!

Yes! Corten Coolness with a chill factor of “Brrrrr!”

You could do this with ISBUs, easily. And, look again at that curb view up at the top. It’s a blank slate. You could actually make this structure look like anything that you wanted to; Stucco it, veneer it, plank it, side it, or bring in your graffiti crew and “Mad Max” it… It’s a “Corten Chameleon” waiting to happen!

If you’re “over there” and you’re looking for an insightful team to help you create that perfect place, I suggest that a talk with these guys might be in order!

Hammarby fabriksvรคg 43 plan 6
120 33 Stockholm, Sweden

Tel: +46 (0)73-640 26 26

Tel: +46 (0)70-438 12 59

And if you’re over here (with ISBU lust)… I could do this.

In fact, I have done ISBU Homes that are amazingly similar.

And so can you!

Stay tuned!

All project photo credits: 2009 – A. E. Lindman

Art Museum Photo credit: Neu Black

Portrait Image credit: I have no idea. If it’s you, speak up!


4 Responses to “Got your Swedish Style On?”

  1. ted yrizarry August 16, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    I had just sent you an email…odd.
    Anyhoo…I will have to look at this several times before I can be fair in a decision. My initial thought was it seems kinda…uh, hospital like? Sterile? But the truth is that is typical European…and the Seweedes do their fair share of interpriting a minimalist idea. Thats not my thing. But I do see where you are coming from with posting this. The parameters are all there. Add some color and some more wood…and it would blend in better for us more traditionalists. And on a side note I do plan on trying to view and or visit some of the European ISBU creations while I am stationed in Germany. Should be an eye opening experience.

    • Renaissance Ronin August 17, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

      Hi Ted,

      Beware falling objects… like Marine fists. I’m gonna have one headed your way! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The deal is, showing this house in basic white with minimalist surroundings gives you a GREAT idea how big it actually is.

      But (amazingly) you’re right, many of us would add a splash of color to those walls to personalize the space. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I’d use some really large scale art pieces, and some cool collections on the walls. plus some really bold furniture.

      Then I’d pick up the whole thing with my helimicopter, and put it on my yachty thingy, and float it to an exotic island, where I’d race around town in my bright red Ferrari while sipping frosty cold drinks that were carved out of pineapples…

      Me thinks you’re starting to reveal yourself as a snob… hmmm? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Okay, okay, seriously for a minute (but just for a minute, longer than that and it may “stick” and screw up “an insane blog”);

      The nice thing about seeing a home in “minimalist” mode is that it shows you what can be done with a limited budget. As many of us build our ISBU houses using paychecks, it’s frankly refreshing to actually see what you START with, before your wife tells you that you have no taste, “You ain’t NO interior decorator!”, and takes away your ability to decorate it yourself… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      But clearly, every family has to have a voice of reason. I just hate that she’s right all the dang time… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      YOU can build it like ya own it… because YOU DO! ๐Ÿ™‚

      PS. Watch for objects falling from the sky… and don’t forget to duck… ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. Aaron August 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    Hey Ronin,

    What do you think the budget would be to reproduce a minimalist home with this kind of layout?

    • Renaissance Ronin August 17, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

      Hi Aaron,

      Assuming that you started with 48′ High Cubes, and a similar layout…

      It’d yield about 775 square feet on the main floor, and about 340 square feet on each level up, that way I’d do it.

      We actually built a home very similar to this one a few years back (on pilings), up in the piney woods…

      The Master BDRM was on the top floor, and it had it’s own staircase up to the roof.

      It ended up costing us just over $100,000 to construct. IIRC it came in at $108,000 and change.

      And YES… we practiced “the three R’s” diligently; Recycling, Repurposing, and Reusing. And we then threw in a fourth “R”… “Relatives.” We did it totally “volunteer style.” However, we DID get a family plumber and a family electrician in the mix…

      And, we use some high end components, like a bunch of really nice stainless steel gourmet kitchen appliances.

      The countertops were ALL concrete that we cast ourselves, except for one “food prep” circuit, and that was stainless steel with an inset butcherblock..

      We ended up with a three bedroom, 2 and a half bath house in a style very similar to the format I preach so heavily today. It’s a super-insulated, energy efficient Shelter of love, that just keeps on giving and giving…

      I’m confident that you could do it now in that same ballpark, under similar conditions. 1,450 plus square feet, for about $100 grand-ish. Ronin-Style.


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