The incredibly prolific Stockholm studio Claesson Koivisto Rune first delved into prefabricated architecture in 2008 with Arkitekthus, a typical prefab factory in Sweden. Using a slightly different framework, their new collection of three houses for another building company, Fiskarhedenvillan, comes with plans and building materials—and buyers must build the structure themselves, onsite. With a hybrid pitched-flat roof and large windows that allow light to flood the interior, the Tind house archetype bridges the gap between modern and traditional Scandinavian design.
It’s more flexible and less expensive than what architect Mårten Claesson calls a “more processed product, where a factory builds the sections and it’s delivered on a truck like Legos.” Instead, the Tind house is delivered as building materials, planks, and insulation, with instructions on how to assemble. The designer relates the project to furniture production in the sense that “someone asked us to design a solution for them to manufacture and mass-produce. This is unlike most architecture, which is directly between the architect and client.”
Claesson also explains that, in Sweden, at least from the lofty viewpoint of most architects, prefab construction is considered “inferior to ‘real’ architecture because it’s not made for a specific client.” But the “99.9 percent” of people who aren’t professional architects take no issue with modular design. What Claesson Koivisto Rune is banking on is that this audience—who may be wary of the cost of building tailor-made or intimidated by capital-A architecture—will want to get the modern design they’ve grown accustomed to from a new generation of designer-led prefab homes.