Le Déjeuner sur L'herbe

Situated within the lush private home movement gardens of Enskede in Stockholm, the project proposes an alternative way of living in the periphery of a rapidly expanding city. The organisational approach aims to meet a society in flux by introducing a more compact and diversified living pattern that debates the tendency towards low density suburban land development.

The current lack of housing in many of Sweden’s urban municipalities is similar to the sociopolitical situation that gave rise to the private home movement at the turn of the century. As a result of the overcrowded living conditions, political measures where taken to claim large areas of land for the construction of simple workers’ housing. The dwellings where based on standardised construction documents and simple tectonics, allowing a moderately experienced builder to erect a small house with a generous garden at a a low cost. 

Being buildings of valuable cultural heritage our proposal aims to curb the tendency of grafting onto the unadorned, well proportioned self build houses by means of a freestanding, complimenting 25 sqm volume granted under the Attefall-house Law of 2014.


The new additions are situated along a proposed narrow mews, lined by tall hedges and mature fruit trees, facing the adjacent neighbour plot. The placement creates a series of thresholds with varying spatial characters mediating between room, house and gardens. 

A light wooden frame clad in tinted fibre-cement, resting on prefabricated concrete sleepers with a sheet metal roof is proposed for the construction. The interior framework is lined with thick felt and spatially organised around a large fixed window framing a view of the internal mews. 

This direct form of construction and material palette is informed by a notion of heightening the aesthetic qualities of commonplace materials and allowing a direct visual understanding of the tectonics. 

With these additions to Gamla Enskede we seek to articulate the unique qualities that are derived from the condition of living in a garden city where one can easily sense the feeling of community. Small robust buildings that attend to the functional requirements of a home while providing a meaningful connection to the culture, landscape and architectural tradition.

Location: Enskede, Sweden
Project Duration: 2014
Gross Internal Area: 25 m2
Images © 2014 Kolman Boye Architects