Life in Equilibrium

Equilibrium – a condition in which a system is in balance. The starting point in the proposal is to create one system in the balance between the three main elements the site, the user and the technology. Opportunities are given here to be able to live in balance. The proposed buildings constitute the medium itself and the architecture provides the form of a dialogue between the parties. In this way, all three parties influence each other and can learn and take advantage of the exchange between them.

Project Facts

Type Competition

Location Eskilstuna

Year 2019

Area 1250 M²

Site Analysis

Historically, Skogsvallen has been a place in motion, a place that has been passed on the country road to and from Eskilstuna and Hällbybrunn. Today, Eskilstunavägen does not have the same significance as before, but it is still a frequented place and a feeling of entry into the community and further into Eskilstuna. From the north on the way to Hällbybrunn, you are met by tall pines and glimpsed buildings at a distance. It is only at the height of Hällby school that the buildings really look behind the pine curtain. The location of the new buildings will change this picture and will be the first buildings from the north that meet Eskilstunavägen with the entrance side facing the road. The buildings can thus serve as an entrance situation and recognition factor along the country road – “Now we have come to Hällby!” – an icon in northern Hällbybrunn.

The place today consists of a beautiful pine forest grove on a southern slope. The place is clearly divided into two latitudes with different conditions. In the southwest, Eskilstunavägen passes in a wide curve. Car traffic creates specific conditions to take into account, such as noise and docking. This is also the advantageous side with a lot of sunlight. In the northeast, it slopes upwards into the forest grove. Here is the connection with nature and a quieter environment.

The proposal

The development consists of a total of 16 terraced houses divided into 4 terraced house groups. In each group, there are 2 different housing sizes.
The smaller terraced houses are located at the far end of the group with an entrance from the side and with a garden that connects the entrance side with the forest.
The larger townhouses are located in the middle of a long narrow courtyard. Lower one-storey buildings in the form of studios link the buildings together into a U-shape.

The concept

THE PLACE AFFECTS THE BUILDING

From the southwest, the buildings are exposed to the sun’s rays, but also to the shady tall pines and noise from the country road. This side is also visible to passers-by and dockers. The building volume has been broken down into one-storey links instead of traditional terraced-house lengths to let in the sunlight on the courtyard side and at the same time shield noise. The result is a diverse and iconic design language that has a playful and representative façade facing Eskilstunavägen. From the northeast, the buildings are shaped by the forest and nature, where the comb-shaped design creates bridges into nature. The long, narrow courtyards between terraced houses are an extension of the forest and a transition between indoors and outdoors with a wind-protected and sunlit microclimate. In harmony with the forest, the buildings open up towards the courtyard side with large windows and have a quieter and more personal character.

THE CONDITIONS OF TECHNOLOGY SHAPE THE BUILDING

There has been a great deal of influence from the sun on the architecture of the buildings. Through the breaking down and opening up of the building volumes, more sides of the building are exposed to sunlight. Throughout the day and in different seasons, the roofs have been designed with varying angles to maximize solar radiation. The roofs and facades of the buildings incorporate solar cells in a pattern that creates an architectural design language. In a representative elevation towards Eskilstunavägen, the roofs showcase the new technology. Every home has a garage with the possibility to charge electric cars – the garage also has solar cells and gives a characteristic shape to the roof. Variable garage sizes and roof shapes create a small-scale impression and give the impression of activity on the road with the potential for business spaces. The buildings are built with a passive house standard so that energy consumption is low. This system affects the structure of the building, its windows and walls, and provides a well-built house with elaborate materials.

THE USER CHANGES THE BUILDING

Different users should be able to live here at different stages of life. Each townhouse group of four townhouses offers two different apartment sizes. Both types of accommodation can largely be adapted internally by the users. The typology enables a flexible room division through the narrow house bodies with windows along the long sides. The buildings can thus undergo a life cycle according to the users’ changed living conditions. Some of the areas can also be divided in a way to enable rental or generational housing.

The user changes the building

This illustrates a possible life cycle with users at different stages in life and how the building can be adapted to changing needs. Both types of accommodation are designed with flexibility in the room division and here the larger home is shown.