Location: Oslo, Norway
Architect: Rintala Eggertsson Architects
Client: Galleri ROM, Maridalsveien 3
Design date: 2007
Completion date: 2007
Built area: 19m2
Curator: Henrik de Menassian
Design Team: Sami Rintala, architect Oslo, Dagur Eggertson, architect Oslo, John Roger Holte, artist Oslo, Julian Fors, architect student Vienna
Funding : Aspelin-Ramm, Infill
Suppliers: metal facades: Ruukki | windows: Pilkington Floatglass | chair and lamps: Vitra Scandinavia | lamps: SM-Lys | construction material: Byggmakker | insulation: Glava Isolasjon
Photographer: Are Carlsen, Ivan Brodey, Pia Ulin, Rintala Eggertsson
Text provided by the architects:
In the North, all buildings for a living have to be made in an advanced way due to the ever-contrasting weather. Additionally, the houses have to be properly heated with external energy more than half of the year’s course. Therefore producing smaller homes would bring about a considerable economical and ecological benefit. Today the construction activity stands alone for more than one-third of total global energy and material consumption, well exceeding that of all traffic and transport.
This should be a crucial question especially in Scandinavia, where people, in accordance with their growing wealth, possess larger and larger houses. And in most cases, this in addition to a second home called a summer house or a cottage.
Boxhome is a 19 square meter dwelling with four rooms covering the basic living functions: kitchen with dining, bathroom, living room, and bedroom.
Firstly, the project focuses on the quality of space, material, and natural light, and tries to reduce unnecessary floor area. The result is a dwelling where the price is only 1/3 of the price of any same
size apartment in the same area. Boxhome is a prototype building, yet the same attitude could be taken further to bigger family housing and consequently to workplaces.
Secondly, it seems that we have given the right to produce our homes to uncontrollable groups of actors who seek mostly maximum income. The basic need to have one’s family protected has become a great business adventure. Making a simple house, after all, is perhaps not such a difficult task that it
should be totally left for this kind of force. Moreover, meeting the official construction restrictions and laws usually seems to equal to the user of the building industry products and services, thus limiting the possibilities of a real change and development to a minimum.
Thirdly, in Western societies at the moment, we are enjoying the highest standard of living ever known to humankind. At the same time, we are fully informed of the results of our culture of consumerism.
Therein lays the greatest paradox: We are forced to actively forget the real reality to be able to enjoy the facade of excess we have created around us.
Finally, and most importantly, the goal has been to make a peaceful small home, a kind of urban cave, where a person can withdraw to, and whenever wished, forget the intensity of the surrounding city for