Student housing can be a contentious issue with usable space often coming at a price, whether financial or environmental, but those days could be behind us now thanks to one ingenious architectural firm.
Tengbom Architects offers a student housing unit, which not only looks good and addresses all the functionality that any student could need, it is also eminently affordable and environmentally sustainable. It might sound too good to be true but it's really not!
A clever collaboration with wood manufacturer Martinsons and AF Bostäder, an estate agency, the University of Lund has benefited from the forward thinking design, which comprises of just 10 square metres of living space. An incredible feat given that traditional student quarters were 25 square metres in size, these small units still offer a gorgeous sleeping-loft, kitchen, bathroom and even a small garden complete with patio!
By using cross laminated wood as the principle building material, the overall cost of each unit has been so low that the rent payable by students has been reduced by 50% with the environmental impact and carbon footprints also having been significantly lowered.
Though these pods may sound like something out of a dream they are very much real and more than that, they are appealing, cosy and offer usable living space that we think is utterly inspired, so let's take a look and you can see for yourself!
You can clearly see from this external shot that the pods truly are just 10 square metres in size. Finished beautifully in black cladding, the units will be warm, practical and, most importantly, affordable for students to rent, although we can imagine that the numbers of people opting to continue their studies to a masters degree level being significantly on the rise with nobody wanting to vacate their amazing pod!
Wow! This is what we call making good use of the space and would you just look at how beautiful this interior is thanks to all of the wood in place! Everything is so eminently ergonomic and well thought out that we really are almost lost for words but let us try to recover and point out some of the most inspired elements at play.
Allowing stairs to double up as bookshelves is nothing short of genius, while the flip down desk that doubles up as a window cover is literally taking our breath away. Though on paper 10 square metres sounds like a minute amount of space, when it comes to translating it into wood, it appears light, airy and more than big enough for even the messiest of students. Tengbom really have created something unique and fantastic here.
Looking down from the sleeping loft you really get a feel for just how well considered the layout in these pods is. Flip the dining table up and there is more than enough floorspace, while the kitchen area, though demure, lacks nothing in the way of a usable and practical countertop. A small sink and generous wall shelving help to make sure that everything needed is at arm's reach and we can't think of anything that a student would crave that they couldn't fit and enjoy in here.
We are really taken with the use of height as a way of creating more storage and free space and can't wait to see what the sleeping loft actually looks like.
This sleeping loft is even better than we hoped it would be and after seeing the rest of the pod that really is saying something!
Losing none of the comfort or practicality of a traditional bedroom, the loft space is cosy but spacious with yet more shelving and hanging space to provide a great alternative to a boxy and sizeable wardrobe. Everything has been really taken into account here, with the supports acting as a safety feature and helping to bring a new building material into play to slightly break up the expanses of wood. Utterly incredible!
This is a great picture that really allows us to get a sense of what it feels like to be sat in the pod itself. We are delighted to see that nothing feels too closed in or claustrophobic and everything appears well proportioned.
With a small but perfectly formed bathroom to the left and the kitchen/dining area offering a valuable separation from the designated study zone, we have to confess that we are seriously tempted to go back to school just so we can live in one of these amazing units! The ecological sustainability can also be felt everywhere, which adds to the wonderful sense of comfort and joy.
For more small space inspiration take a look at this Ideabook: Tiny Riverside House In Japan.