Tengbom Micro Dorms - Tiny House Blog

Tengbom Micro Dorms

College and high school students are embracing the tiny house concept with gusto. One of the leading architecture firms in Sweden is right behind them with a series of affordable, portable micro dorms that are also environmentally friendly. The “10 smart square” dorms are only 107 square feet, but feature lofts, kitchen, living and dining areas and an interesting use of cross laminated wood.


Tengbom Architects is working in collaboration with wood manufacturer Martinsons, real estate company AF Bostäder and Lund University in Sweden to develop sustainable and smart housing for students. The first unit was on display in the Virserum Art Museum in 2013 and this year there will be 22 units available for students to move in.

Cross laminated timber is an engineered wood building system designed to complement light- and heavy-timber framing options. Because of its high strength and dimensional stability, it can be used as alternative to concrete, masonry and steel in many building types. The process is popular in Europe and is growing in availability in the U.S. The benefits are fast installation, reduced waste and improved thermal performance.

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The units are made from cross laminated wood and are assembled on site. Each contain a sleeping loft accessed by wall-mounted stairs, laminated furniture, shelving and even a laminated kitchen counter. Each unit has a tiny bathroom/shower combo and strategically placed windows for light and privacy. The rent for these units will be about 50 percent less than larger dorm rooms on campus.

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Tengbom is one of the leading architectural firms in Sweden and the Nordic region, with around 500 employees at twelve offices in Sweden and Finland.  Since 1906, Tengbom has combined innovative and holistic design for present and future generations. Their additional designs include architecture, landscaping, lighting and historic building conservation.

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Photos courtesy of Tengbom Architects

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Ron - November 3, 2014 Reply

I think this group (but certainly not the first) to address the college group….
I would like to see them step this up to post-college housing….
I doubt IF any college in America would allow this kind of student housing. Ron

Jet Tilton - November 3, 2014 Reply

These are all great ideas FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN SWEDEN!! There are plenty of people who really need affordable housing in the US, and unfortunately most of our country is not open to new ideas like this. I applaud countries where you can build affordable housing options, but here, it’s a lot harder to do…….but keep up the great work.

Tom Steele - November 3, 2014 Reply

How are they heated. It does get cold up where they are Do they Have Photo-electric panels on top?

allan - November 3, 2014 Reply

I wonder about the cost? Can you imagine a foreword thinking foundation financing batches of these to help the homeless.

AVD - November 3, 2014 Reply

Well, they got the entry door swing right!

Good thing that Sweden and Finland both have free health care because the stairs to the loft will certainly result in many broken bones.

Note that one photo of the “stair” has a handrail and another photos does not.

gmh - November 4, 2014 Reply

The really neat part about all of these is that they are shipped to the students in 5 separate boxes- complete with Allen wrenches and little drawings on how to assemble… no, wait… that’s a different Swedish company.
There is a certain coolness factor here, but I would think that the traditional dorm set-up with two people in a 10 x 20 room and a shared bathroom down the hall would be a more eco-friendly set-up. I guess this would be more private.
I would like to see how someone actually lives in one and uses the space for their things and has people over to study and watch movies.
(Those stairs would scare me- I’d prefer a ladder up the wall to those narrow stairs.)

Becca - November 4, 2014 Reply

Very intriguing idea… i agree it would be interesting to see how one of these dorms is actually lived in.

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