Brunstorp / Arrhov Frick Arkitektkontor
In Brunstorp in Jönköping, Sweden, Arrhov Frick Arkitektkontor has designed 90 cost-effective housing units with a high standard of living. The project is located on the site of a former hotel, between the main road European route E4 and the lake Vättern. Being a city with a sparse population, Jönköping is strongly affected by the challenges facing the Swedish building industry. This created a demand for the new housing to be cost-effective, with many different apartments types in one building complex.
The architects Johan Arrhov and Henrik Frick is known to develop architectural proposals based on a deep understanding of the specific social and economic contexts they operate in. They answered the site’s challenges by thoroughly investigating and analyzing the local market to get inside of the place and the inhabitant’s needs. Also, they corresponded with prefabricated manufacturers on how to produce effective, flexible systems and construction details. Thus, the project reduces the architecture to its fundamentals, with an emphasis on function, basic materials, and structural economy.
The 90 housing units are arranged into three, narrow north-south oriented volumes, all with a panoramic view towards the lake Vättern. The division into three buildings lets the housing units follow the local topography, from the large road in the east towards the lakeside in the west.
The houses have a modern and simple design language where lightly pigmented concrete plays a central role. The concrete creates a robust frame to the lighter elements, such as wood, steel, and glass. The rational and simple design with no unnecessary elements is part of the mission to emphasize values and qualities for the residents that could otherwise be left out in a cost-effective housing design.
From their initial analysis, the architects defined a few important principles of quality. These included larger areas per apartment than usual, generous balconies and large sliding doors that open towards the balconies and the view towards the lake. All other parameters were flexible and could be changed in the design process. Thus, the principles create coherence throughout the three different buildings and make sure that the same parameters are included in every apartment type.
The three buildings have similar heights but diverge in other ways, such as their number of floors, balconies, windows, and staircases. The northern and the southern buildings have long, shielded balconies towards the east as well, with round, external steel staircases. The east balconies both connect the building’s apartments on the outside and shield the inhabitants from the sounds of the main road behind. One building stands out by having its lower apartments in two floors, like modern row houses, while long balconies towards west connect all three buildings with a common view towards the lake.
Even with the buildings’ internal differences, they clearly have similar traits and grow from the same quality principles. The overall concept is to give every inhabitant the opportunity for an equal view towards the lake, and this becomes visible in the room composition, which is the same for all apartments. While more quiet rooms, such as bedrooms and bathrooms are all oriented away from the view, rooms with social functions, such as living rooms, kitchens, and dining rooms are all located towards the west and the lake. As an extension of the living room, the west balconies reach out towards the evening sun.
As a special feature, a small sauna is added to the top of the center building, strongly contrasting with the buildings’ concrete facades with its warm timber. The location of the sauna makes it more special and private, for the use of the inhabitants only, as a common place for them to gather or enjoy an unobstructed view of the lake.
Together, the housing units are a mix of several typologies – traditional apartments, row houses and large units with outdoor areas. Thus, the apartments are suitable for different living situations at different stages of life. And due to the architects’ initial principles of quality, all apartments can enjoy the main qualities of the site on equal terms.
|ARCHITECT||Arrhov Frick Arkitektkontor|