IKEA BoKlok Flatpack houses spread Swedish gospel

IKEA is taking flatpack construction to a new high – the BoKlok is a flatpack house offering hope to hundreds of thousands of people currently unable to buy a house in the UK. These timber frame, 1 or 2 bedroom homes will be available....for lower income families. Affordable housing is a testing issue for the government as high house prices over a decade forced key workers and local people to the urban margins. Well-tested in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, where 2,000 BoKloks occupy 45 sites, a new Anglo-Swedish venture aims to offer the flatpack housing at 13 IKEA outlets. Most BoKloks will be offered through the Hyde Group housing association, Paramount Homes and Skanska, IKEA’s partner in Scandinavia. Brits have shown considerable enthusiasm for minimalist Swedish design, with a stampede of 6,000 customers recently at a north London IKEA store. Whether the BoKlok (translating as Live Smart) aesthetic, a hybrid of country-and-western meets summer holiday home, will meet the romantic and practical aspirations of the British public, let alone the planners, remains to be seen. A glance to the post-World War II ‘Cornish Unit’ prefab concrete homes, and others of the same ilk, designed over fifty years ago to meet similar urgent housing needs, still sit awkwardly in the landscape. Whatever happened to ‘local is beautiful’? ::Hyde Housing and ::Ikea Boklok [by © Alastair Fuad-Luke, 2005.]*Be sure to peruse other examples in our prefab category

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