Townhouse / Elding Oscarson

  • 29 Jul 2011
  • Featured Houses Selected Works
@ Åke E:son Lindman

Architect: Elding Oscarson
Location: Landskrona,
Structural Engineer: Konkret
Builder: Skånebygg
Gross Floor Area: 125 sqm
Construction Cost: 280,000 Euro
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Åke E:son Lindman

The narrow site is sandwiched between very old neighboring buildings in Landskrona, Sweden. Since mid 20th century it has been empty, waiting behind a wooden fence. It is only 5 meters wide with a tiny area of 75 square meters. Immediately adjacent buildings are low, but the street is lined with buildings of various height, size, facade material, age, and approach. Behind the row of buildings is a colorful world of back yards, brick walls, sheds, and vegetation. We find this small-scale, motely, naturally worn place extremely beautiful.

@ Åke E:son Lindman

The building relates to the surroundings in scale, proportion and in the way it adds to the established rythm of low and tall buldings along the street. A perpendicularly inserted crow-step gabled house a few lots down the street is a particularly important ancestor. Yet, our aim is to create a razor sharp contrast, to express inherent clarity, but more importantly to highlight the beauty of the surroundings. Our clients, a male couple that love art and run a café in a bigger city closeby, plan to settle here for good. They see the potential in this small town, beyond its current economic and social problems.

floor plans

Compressed slab construction, unconventional ceiling heights, and the ground floor flush to the street level, permitted fitting three floors into a volume aligned with the neighboring rooftops. The interior consists of a single space, softly partitioned by three exposed steel slabs. These span the entire width of the house and divide its program – kitchen, dining, living, library, bed, bath, and a roof terrace. A home office for a growing side business of art dealing is located in a separate building across a small garden in the back. Mechanical and service spaces are housed next to a glazed entrance from the street.

@ Åke E:son Lindman

Our intention is to use small means to create an array of different spatial experiences in this very small project. The division of the single space aims at a non-minimalistic and lively sequence of confined and airy spaces, niches, interiors and exteriors, horizontal and vertical views as well as carefully framed views of the site. The continuous interior space is opening up to the street, to the middle of the block, and to the sky above.

@ Åke E:son Lindman

The openness to all directions generates a building both monolithic and transparent. All facades are treated equally, exposing the interior and offering views through the building with similar apertures whether on the front, back or sides. The neigboring facades are closed, yet there is something deeply humane about their tactility, detailing, and ornaments. We want to contribute to the street with a faded border to the private sphere, with artifacts, furniture, plants, and patios; traces of human presence, consideration, and care.

Cite: "Townhouse / Elding Oscarson" 29 Jul 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Dec 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=46808>
  • http://www.sunflowerdesigns.hu/ Andrew Geber

    Oh, how blissful

  • Jacob

    (Y)

  • is it inspired in arch daily logo?

    i think that this building does not match in that context, i agree about wanting to do a fabulous architecture the architect like, but there are more things to care about when you make a project, like its situation. this building would be the same in japan.

    • Sam O

      At first look, I totally agreed with you, and to some extent still do think that this building sticks out like a sore thumb… but… if you look at more pictures of the location, and read more about the architects analysis of the context, it seems like this locality is a mad and diverse mix of architectural styles – not entirely a local vernacular.

      I think the architect has consciously decided to add another architectural style to the mix. It is to be expected that some will praise this, whilst others will hate it. Personally, I think only time will tell whether this architecture is accepted as part of the community, or scorned forever more!

      • itdoestreallymatter

        architects in this era could never avoid designing mere object somehow: the outstanding visual interruption, and the out-of-context desire.

        it reminds me loads of projects about white box on different beautiful landscape… architects begin to think white cue is the best solution or i should say the injection of artificiality.. there is a chinese saying that illustrated the beauty of having diversity within similarity. so since when we only make white cube?

  • Richie

    Whatever the justification they give about the variable character of the street, it still seems jarring within that context in terms of its scale and gleaming white finish. It’s a beautiful object though.

  • http://www.archilocus.com archilocus

    I somehow agree with …, but it is very pleasant to see architects doing something totally different than what you would actually expect there without being in the same time blob architecture…
    The plans seem to work very well. I like the kind of sketchy style of the drawings (don’t know if it’s done by hand or by that new kind of autocad-like fake handsketch rendering, but it’s nice anyway). My only concern is about the mesh on the terrace to avoid the standard railing, the effect is not as nice from the inside.

  • A Sphere

    japanese goes swedish

    AD’s Logo on Fire

    • Edouard Coleman

      Ah ah!! You re right!

  • http://NA prkno

    280 k bit much ?

  • sander

    What I don’t understand is why do you make a bridgedeck from meshes to go to the bathroom. Not very comfortable on your bare feet.

  • pep

    ……..out of context

  • Dustin

    It does seem somewhat expensive, on the other hand, Sweden is a very expensive country.
    I think it’s great because it’s so simple it probably had no problem meeting historical building preservation requirements (if that was the case). It does look incredibly similar to the archdaily logo though, and that has happened before.
    haha I also liked the model with the little dressed up people, great way to sell an idea to a homosexual couple.

  • Fudge

    Beautiful

  • Matt

    Very cool.

  • Rarchi

    reminds me on SANAA’s projects and also models

    • INawe

      Jonas Elding worked for SANAA between 1999 and 2007. Hence the SANAA feel.

  • Doug

    Fun space, especially like the rear office. Have to agree with sander that the mesh deck probably isn’t too comfortable on bare feet. The bathroom layout also makes for an interesting view out while sitting on the toilet.

    The contextual placement is very reminiscent of a Saitowitz project in SF on a friends house. It’s not published, but use google street view for 138 Germania Street, San Francisco and you’ll see.

  • amron

    very cool!
    like japanese projects
    … now it’s in the context

  • FG

    It’s nice to see a Japanese style “inslag” as they might say in Sweden into a somewhat homogeneous environment (look at the taller house at the end of the block and across the street). Beautifully minimal but with good outdoor contact – warm minimal, if you will…

    I’m actually surprised that the local authorities allowed it; kudo’s to them for doing so.

    A note, it seems a lot of people opt for quirky grating in their homes, in the US (see This Old Houses last season “barn” project). In Sweden, even though people remove their shoes upon entering houses, slippers or indoor shoes are normally worn.

  • Leonardo Ximenes

    To Eldin Oscarson Architects:
    My first comment here is: you’ve created a beautiful corbusian house, the inner space clearly and cleverly articulated, and full of light. It must be a delight to live there. And I like the way you let the terracota-colored facade of the neighbor follow the depth of the entrance.
    My next comment is not so nice: Take a second look at that street. By the pictures, it seems to be a place inspired on medieval design. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that most houses are scaled horizontally, and then go on a crescendo until the vertical spire at the end of the street. That’s a kind of harmony that only time can give. Your aim is to disturb that harmony, as you yourself stated: “our aim is to create a razor sharp contrast”. If that’s what you wanted, the client wanted, and the city permitted, there’s nothing anybody could do about it. But then you go on to say: “but more importantly to highlight the beauty of the surroundings”, and “The building relates to the surroundings in scale, proportion and in the way it adds to the established rhythm of low and tall buildings along the street”, and yet “We want to contribute to the street with a faded border to the private sphere”. These are void attempts to validate your disturbance of that setting, to give this house the aesthetic right to be there. That’s dishonest, and you know that. We architects need to stop inventing excuses for our whims; that’s not instructive, not to mention ethical.
    It is possible to create something different, yet contributing to the surroundings, as Michelangelo proved with his masterful intervention on the Campidoglio. But here, you killed a beautiful street with your beautiful house.

    • shetu

      Very wise judgement.

  • Pingback: Elding Oscarson: Cute & Clever

  • kudz

    way to ruin the whole vista aestheticians!

  • Lasse

    Very blissfull peace feel to it. I like the SANAA umami spice they smothered it in.

    PRICE: 125m2 at 280k € = 2240€ pr m2.
    In Denmark (same same but different) that will buy you a standard house with standard hights and standard fittings etc.

    Since this is way above standard its actually cheep. Ask about the pricelevel on food and cars here, and you will get an even more eyebrow-raising answer :-)

    • Dustin

      And to think I just built a house for under 300€ pr m2 here in Mexico, and it was above a standard house.

  • arkitekt

    Beautiful house, but they should have worked with the form a bit more on the context. Seems so incredibly stubborn to stick with that goddamn white box on that medieval street.

  • repoman

    It is a marvellous house for a couple. It seems to be well detailed, simple and minimalistic and still it feels like a home. It is like a ghost vanishing to its background skies. It exists and doesn’t at the same time. It is not actually doing any harm to its neighbours even though it is totally different anb taller even. It is a built manifestation of difference.

    What happens when time passes and this house gets new dwellers? I suppose these ordinary looking neighbours allow many different lifestyles. Is this new thing flexible, does it last time? In 125 sqm it should be possible to have a family with atleast one kid living in there too. If not now, maybe in the next decades. In the millieus like this (ordinary historical buildings that are still lived in and not only museums) it is important to think beyond lifestyles of this generation at the moment. Individual intentions and interpretations of built environment over community’s unity and harmony is not the correct thing to do at this milieu.

    What happens if some close neighbours begins to have same kind of fantasies to have a similar house on their own plot? Can we accept the same kind of difference elsewhere too? Or is it just ok to do it once but not twice?

    This building rises many interesting issues in architectural point of view but also in life in general. It makes this quite ordinary and minimalistic house more like an artwork in the field of architecture and built environment.

    • majchers

      Dear ‘repoman’, you rarely build houses for the future generations. You build them for yourself first and the utmost. Designing things for the unknown future is risky. See all those millions of alike apartments (flats) in the formerly communist countries. Soooo uuuggglyyyyyyy… !
      And here if someone in the future will want to utilize this house differently then they can always modernize it to their standards and likings of their time.
      If the neighbors will begin to have same kind of fantasies – so be it! Let them!
      We will haw two, and not one modern dwellings on Archdaily!
      ;-)

      P.S. I like this house more for the interior then the exterior. The later one lacks appreciation to the neighborhood. As much as I am in favour of sharp architecture this house crossed the border.

  • vangelis ntallis

    modernism fulfilled (written in helvetica)

  • http://twitter.com/fotofacade/status/7987953469 Andy Marshall

    RT @MatDolphin: I bet the neighbours love this! http://bit.ly/7KgBuE #architecture

  • http://www.internirussia.ru urko

    sanaaish home + eames chair + white fixie what an ultra-trendy hipster lives here?

  • George

    There are some freakily repressive notions being expressed here. Like new buildings ought so sit timerously like little mice, scared to be seen or make any kind of impact on their context!

    It’s a cracking project, and makes the street scene look much more characterful in total.

  • http://twitter.com/nicholaspatten/status/7991177507 Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Townhouse. http://bit.ly/7ldsEj

  • Joshua

    I’m not sure if I like the front approach – the blank wall is not as inviting as the other houses with windows on human level. Perhaps they should have broken it up a bit to make it look less like an office building… but then again I am judging from photographs. Maybe the experience will be better in person…

    Other than that, I like the project!

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  • http://ladydandelion.net/ dandelion

    really cool! I live in Sweden and am interested in architecture, but had totally missed this!