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How Much Could You Do with 270 Square Feet?

By Dwell @dwell
Taking its lead from a Swedish building code, a new book proposes ingenious concepts that can fit in 270 square feet. Slideshow Swedish artist's studio in plywood with skylight

Ateljé 25 by Waldemarson Berglund Arkitekter

This archetypal Swedish building form, shaped like a Monopoly house, serves as an artist’s studio, with a simple plywood interior and massive skylights to let in natural sunlight.

Image courtesy of Waldemarson Berglund Arkitekter.

The Swedish building code includes a unique provision that allows owners to build small, 25-square-meter (roughly 270 square feet) structures without much oversight, as long as they complement a standing home. Intended to allow for easy expansion of existing space, this rule inspired journalists Eva Wrede and Mark Isitt to use these cabins as a starting point for speculation and creativity. They queried a group of Swedish architects, asking for their take on the concept, and collected the results in a new book, 25 Kvadrat (Max Ström). From fold-up containers to space-age takes on log cabins, these proposals showcase new possibilities for freewheeling, small-space construction in a country already obsessed with free-standing cottages.

“A main home is like the album,” says Isitt. “The smaller building is more like a pop single. You can experiment and not take things too seriously.”


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