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A new planning rule in Sweden inspired these tiny, beautiful structures

Courtesy of Jägnefält Milton
Small, permit free, and legal
By Jeanne Kim
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

This post has been corrected.

Battling a national housing shortage, Sweden’s housing ministry is gambling that throwing away the red tape will encourage homeowners to build that extra room and alleviate the pressure.

In July 2014, the Scandinavian kingdom amended its Planning and Building Act to allow homeowners to build small structures that complement their homes without obtaining a building permit, provided they are no bigger than 25 square meters (269.1 sq. feet), and no higher than four meters (13.1 ft).  

Sweden’s architects have taken up the challenge, putting their creative minds to work on structures that fit the bill.

Lövkojan (Forest Pavilion), Jägnefält Milton

Created for the new book, 25 Kvadrat (25 Meters Squared), featuring designs for tiny structures that meet the revised code, the Lövkojan, or Forest Pavilion, is a leaf-like structure designed by Swedish architecture firm, Jägnefält Milton and Berlin engineering firm, Arup.

The room is built on an oval platform with a lead roof and is designed to use the wood from the site it’s built on. Jägnefält Milton architect, Konrad Milton, told Quartz via email that the space would cost an estimated $170,000 to build.

Courtesy of Jägnefält Milton
Courtesy of Jägnefält Milton
Courtesy of Jägnefält Milton

E25 Attefallshus, Enkelrum

Pre-fabricated and permit-free, the E25 Attefallshus from design firm, Enkelrum, is a rectangular box that can function as an office, guesthouse, or just an extra bedroom. It can also come installed with a bathroom and kitchen (and all appliances in the kitchen). The base price is fixed at 315,000 Swedish Krona (about $40,200)—unless you want a kitchen and bathroom, in which case it costs 425,000 SEK (about $54,200).

Courtesy of Simple, Enkelrum
Courtesy of Simple, Enkelrum
Courtesy of Simple, Enkelrum
Courtesy of Single, Enkelrum

Guest Harbour, Vision Division

In a country with a large boating population (pdf), architects at Vision Division focused their creativity on appealing to Sweden’s boaters.

“Every boat [already] is a guesthouse….We can make it possible for you to bring it back to your house,” Vision Division founder, Ulf Mejergren, told Quartz. ”The secondhand market for boats is big so you can buy a boat easily. The hard thing is to take it to your house and make sense of it.”

Landlocked? Not a problem. Vision Division will not only redesign a boat to serve as extra space, it will also build one of three aqua foundations—a pool, pond, or fountain—to provide the boat with a place to float.

Mejergren says prices will vary widely depending on foundation and materials. They’re unlikely to be cheap.

Courtesy of Vision Division
During the summer, the pool foundation can double as an actual pool when boat owners take their boats out to sea.
Courtesy of Vision Division
Courtesy of Vision Division
Yes, that’s a guesthouse boat on top of a fountain.
Courtesy of Vision Division

Correction (Dec.27): An earlier version of this article incorrectly priced the E25 Attefallshus in euros instead of Swedish krona.

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