Swedish Student House

The popularity of Stieg Larsson’s books, and subsequent movies, about a certain tattooed girl has given rise to a new-found love of Swedish design. Sweden’s Technical Week website recently had a story on a 94 square foot tiny home that celebrates that clean design, but is also making a statement at the same time.

This experimental, free-standing tiny home for students has a kitchen, a bath with a shower, a corner office and an eating area with two chairs. A sleeping loft is accessed by a ladder. This home will rent for 30,000 Swedish crowns ($4,400) a year, when most student housing in Sweden rents for about 50,000 ($7,700) crowns a year. The country has a lack of affordable student housing and most seekers have to stand in line for an available place to live. This home will be rented out for three years to one person who can give the best reason why they should have the house.

AF Bostader created the home as a bit of a rebellion against what they feel are overly strict building codes. The Swedish Housing Authority states that student housing needs to be at least 258 square feet and wheelchair accessible. AF Bostader hopes that the Housing Authority will allow them to build 100 units of new student housing at a smaller size – but not as small as this tiny house.

Photos courtesy of AF Bostader


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]


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robin yates - February 13, 2012 Reply

typical Swedish design, functional,simple and modern.Good size for a student at an affordable price.Great idea

Luke - February 13, 2012 Reply

looks similar to my 1st apartment, except mine was inside a dormitory.

Maija - February 13, 2012 Reply

This is an AWESOME student home! Compared to what my son (in Canada) has for his dorm room, this is heaven! And almost half the price!

Cherie Worley - February 13, 2012 Reply

Very nice design. I’d live there!

Virgilstar - February 13, 2012 Reply

From an environmental and social perspective, I’m not sure that replacing a dorm-room building and shared bathrooms/kitchens, with hundreds of self-enclosed mini houses, is a great idea…

– Lots more surface area for heat loss.
– 100 water heaters, furnaces, stoves etc. instead of combined utilities.
– Less social, sharing, interaction. Indoctrinating students to the “you must be a single homeowner” idea, instead of teaching them about social ideas such as sharing things.

The latter is the most disturbing. It’s basically teaching kids to be selfish at a stage when they SHOULD be sharing… burning down the kitchens together, experimenting with unfamiliar foods, seeing each other naked in the co-ed bathrooms, learning about responsibility of cleaning up after yourself, partaking of “substances” in each other’s rooms. That’s part of what being away from home for the first time is all about! The friends you make in dorm rooms and shared housing stay with you for life. I don’t see that having single students holed up in their single houses, is “healthy” for their social development. Sure, it makes them into better sheep, for participation in the housing-fueld economy when they go out and get jobs, but that’s not really what college should be about, is it?

    Stan - February 13, 2012 Reply

    I think that most Universities have the ‘freshmen must live in the dorms’ rule. This is for the students that have done all you described and are now looking for some privacy. I found it difficult to get passing grades when living in the dorms, I personally did much better in a house with 3 other roommates. Had I had the oportunity to be on my own like this after a few years of socializing I probably would have finished much sooner than I did.

Sietske - February 13, 2012 Reply

Wow, nice place. I have about the same size my own mini-appartment. And I agree that sharing stuff is great, I lived in 6 square meter (no idea about square foot) with just a bed and desk for myself. However in my last year I really wanted a place of my own, and it see it a lot with fellow student who are fed up with someone elses dishes and lack of privacy. In a flat construction the loss of heat is not that great because of the smaller connection to the outside (maybe one or two walls).

cseanco - February 13, 2012 Reply

Great work, A small roof overhang on the patio side would allow you to add or integrate some outdoor social space…. fascilitating socialization for virgilstar..in a future post it would be great to see how the washroom was laid out Thanks

alice h - February 13, 2012 Reply

If the house stays where it is the poor resident will probably be driven bonkers with tour requests. Interesting layout, not quite sure about the practicality and aesthetics of the shelf above the table though.

Adela - February 13, 2012 Reply

Wheelchair and handicap access laws exist for a reason. It’s so you don’t ghetto the disable and to allow them to be a part of the everyday community the same as everyone else. Its not liberating rebellion against the man to flaunt those requirements so much as it is self absorbed ableism.

    Dave - February 13, 2012 Reply

    I agree that the laws exist for a reason, but it is more about having a “standard” that we can call “accesable housing” than it is about preventing the ghetto-izing of the handicapped. Just because someone has a wheelchair, or assistive device, doesn’t mean that my house needs to be completely wheelchair/device friendly. Just like the fact that I am a tall heavyset man should not mean that items in everyone’s home are designed to my needs. It is wasteful to push everyone into the same mold, despite their need, that is what has led to McMansions, since everyone needs a “house”. And the modern home is pushing 2500 square feet as a “rerasonable size” nowadays. My family of 4 lived in a 1200 square foot townhouse, my bedroom was 6×8′ and we were fine…. Modern homes have 3rdd bedrooms bigger than my parents Master bedroom was back then!

    seriously? - February 13, 2012 Reply

    Yes, the Swedes, in particular, are known for their vast wheelchair ghettos. I heard they are especially dangerous at night.

BigGoofyGuy - February 13, 2012 Reply

I like the simple design on the outside and the efficient design on the inside. It would be nice to live there. 🙂

meistergedanken - February 14, 2012 Reply

Newsflash: as someone who works in architectural world, I can confidantly declare that any time an architect or designer touts a building by saying it has “a clean design”, they are using code that actually mean “totally plain and completely lacking in interest, ornament or style.” This is done to cover up the fact that either the budget is ludicrously small, or that the designer has no vision or is indolent.

You want to live in a box that’s white on the outside (primer?), and full of unstained wood on the inside (laziness?), be my guest.

    Stan - February 14, 2012 Reply

    Compared to most dorms this is a huge step up. If he is trying to appeal to the university as well then cost is probably a big factor. Also the cheaper it is the lower the rent for students. If you’re so high and mighty that you couldn’t live there for a few years to study you are not the demographic.

    LAURA - August 11, 2012 Reply

    I agree with Stan there is nothing selfish about wanting your own space where your roommate doesn’t have drunken boyfriends on your bed when you are not there — people need space to decompress and be alone this idea you must be thrown together with people who are not like you are you do not share time with is a real cave man approach to living we are not in tribe..and in tribes they share blood and culture we do not have such ties…
    Design follows function I once learned in school and we need people to learn in peace and quiet in dorms and to be on their own and not to be so dependent on others to fix their problems –and we could all learn to pedal our own electricity for something so small go figure off the grid eh?

Benjamin - February 14, 2012 Reply

I’m really curious about that large shelf above the table. Does it have some purpose? It seems like it would block natural light from the skylight.

JonM - February 14, 2012 Reply

If Ikea starts selling these with delivery, I’m sold.

Brian - February 14, 2012 Reply

Furnished by IKEA, no doubt?

David - February 15, 2012 Reply

The shelf above the table supports a lamp and a rack of wine glasses. Look closely.

    alice h - February 15, 2012 Reply

    While it’s easy to see that’s what they do, it’s less easy to see why the choice was made to do it that way. The glass rack could just as easily go in or under the wall shelves and the lamp could hang from a small bracket, extend from the wall shelf or hang on a cord or rod from the ceiling. It’s a large piece of wood that blocks light from the skylight and doesn’t offer a lot of practical and easy to access storage. The whole arrangement with the pole seems awkward too.

tinyhousetom - February 15, 2012 Reply

Does all the exposed wood meet firecode for student housing?

I suppose solar panels on the roof would drive the unit cost up.

Susan Juetten - February 17, 2012 Reply

Looks a bit dark inside but I guess more windows would drive the construction and heating cost up?

Could you put a few side-to-side like townouses to decrease building costs?

Studenthuset - February 19, 2012 Reply

I designed and built several 15 square meter (150 sf) student houses in the same town this house is in and the general response is that students think this is too small of a space and very lonely. A better solution is to put a hundred of these in a large greenhouse with common socializing areas, ie bars or cafes, cafeterias, common kitchens etc. That way people could have their privacy and be social as well.It would also cut down on the heat loss and the Swedish climate could use a couple of extra months of solar heat gain.

    LAURA - August 11, 2012 Reply

    Lonely will happen anywhere it can happen in a room full of people… Small houses appeal to the people who are there to study and really get good grades

From the home front: Tiny house auction, villages and student housing; multifunctional furniture | WorldFlashNews.com - April 3, 2012 Reply

[…] student housing: An experimental, 94-square-feet tiny home for student housing stands as a protest in Sweden against building codes. AF Bostader, a large student housing company […]

Gordon - August 25, 2012 Reply

I love the look inside & out. Any idea about dimensions?

John Borsoff - December 13, 2013 Reply

where can i get one and what will it cost me?

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