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A Cost-Conscious House in Sweden That’s a Pinterest Sensation

An unlikely Pinterest sensation: the house of Maria Förstberg, a librarian and weaver, located in Linköping, in southern Sweden. The structure, a pair of gabled volumes clad in corrugated aluminum, looks much like a child’s drawing come to life, and—in fact, it’s the work of Maria’s son, architect Björn Förstberg, and his partner, Mikael Ling, who are based in Malmo. (Interesting fact: It was Förstberg Ling’s very first project.)

Originally dreamed up as an entry for a sustainable housing exhibition in Linköping—planned back in 2013 and opening this September (see Vallastaden 2017)—House for Mother struck a chord, and instantly made the rounds on Pinterest.  The architects explain that they aimed to “balance spatiality with intimate rooms, formal simplicity with strong materiality.” Translation: The design manages to be both airy and embracing, clean-lined and full of life. And all of the materials choices are budget friendly. Join us for a look.

Photography by Markus Linderoth, courtesy of Förstberg Ling.

 The natural plywood on the walls is sealed with Polyx-Oil, a wax oil from Osmo. The dining table is Ilse Crawford’s cork-topped trestle design from her Sinnerlig collection for Ikea. It’s lit by steel Levels Lamps by Form Us With Love.
Above: The natural plywood on the walls is sealed with Polyx-Oil, a wax oil from Osmo. The dining table is Ilse Crawford’s cork-topped trestle design from her Sinnerlig collection for Ikea. It’s lit by steel Levels Lamps by Form Us With Love.
Floor-to-ceiling white paint creates a literal dividing line between the two halves of the room. “By not using plaster and gypsum boards, the white areas don’t feel too clinical and develop patina with age,” say the architects.
Above: Floor-to-ceiling white paint creates a literal dividing line between the two halves of the room. “By not using plaster and gypsum boards, the white areas don’t feel too clinical and develop patina with age,” say the architects.
A companion to the dining table, a cork-topped Ilse Crawford-for-Ikea desk for the librarian.
Above: A companion to the dining table, a cork-topped Ilse Crawford-for-Ikea desk for the librarian.
A library corner.
Above: A library corner.
With its soaring ceiling and exposed beams and trusses, the design references barn construction. The rooms are wrapped in plywood and parts of the kitchen are set off with a graphite-colored stain from Osmo. A full-height fridge and freezer are tucked into a pantry on the other side of the sink wall.
Above: With its soaring ceiling and exposed beams and trusses, the design references barn construction. The rooms are wrapped in plywood and parts of the kitchen are set off with a graphite-colored stain from Osmo. A full-height fridge and freezer are tucked into a pantry on the other side of the sink wall.
Open plywood shelves serve as storage and display. The kitchen island is fitted with cabinets and, on the side facing the sink, refrigerator drawers by Liebherr. The metal pendant LED light, the w103 Sempé from Wästberg, is available as a single shade and in various combinations.
Above: Open plywood shelves serve as storage and display. The kitchen island is fitted with cabinets and, on the side facing the sink, refrigerator drawers by Liebherr. The metal pendant LED light, the w103 Sempé from Wästberg, is available as a single shade and in various combinations.
The cooking area has a stainless steel counter and simple white tiled backsplash. It incorporates an Ikea stove, Ikea dishwasher (concealed behind a plywood front), and inset sink with a Vola faucet. On the side wall, shelves stocked with Ikea Knagglig crates form an orderly open pantry.
Above: The cooking area has a stainless steel counter and simple white tiled backsplash. It incorporates an Ikea stove, Ikea dishwasher (concealed behind a plywood front), and inset sink with a Vola faucet. On the side wall, shelves stocked with Ikea Knagglig crates form an orderly open pantry.
 The floor is concrete, which rises to form a bench along the perimeter of the room.
Above: The floor is concrete, which rises to form a bench along the perimeter of the room.
A simple bedroom under the eaves.
Above: A simple bedroom under the eaves.
The utilitarian tiled bathroom has plywood components.
Above: The utilitarian tiled bathroom has plywood components.
Tucked off the living room, the greenhouse is composed of translucent corrugated polycarbonate sheets applied to a framework of wooden studs. It’s fitted with open shelves and a restaurant-style stainless steel worktop.
Above: Tucked off the living room, the greenhouse is composed of translucent corrugated polycarbonate sheets applied to a framework of wooden studs. It’s fitted with open shelves and a restaurant-style stainless steel worktop.
A barn door opens to a back terrace.
Above: A barn door opens to a back terrace.
Situated on a narrow lot in a still-under-way planned community, the house’s two corrugated steel structures are staggered: The volume in the foreground has two bedrooms and an art studio, and the other contains the kitchen and living areas, as well as a bathroom, laundry room, and greenhouse.
Above: Situated on a narrow lot in a still-under-way planned community, the house’s two corrugated steel structures are staggered: The volume in the foreground has two bedrooms and an art studio, and the other contains the kitchen and living areas, as well as a bathroom, laundry room, and greenhouse.

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