Sustainability starts locally

Chronicle by Ola Malm

Växjö Our vision is to be a key player in a region that is gaining a reputation for exciting and sustainable architecture. We want to embrace and refine what makes this part of Sweden special, without losing our national and international perspective.

Here in Växjö we work with the local forest as the region’s greatest resource and backdrop. Globally sustainable urban development begins with the local, with what is unique to each place and situation. The construction industry accounts for more than 50 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions, and so what architects design and prescribe really matters. This is one of many reasons why over the past 25 years, we have tried to get more wood into the structural frames. In recent years, we are pleased to have seen several tall buildings with wooden frames rising up in Växjö, with local contractors also beginning to get in on the act.

We have long wanted to increase our understanding of the whole construction process. To be involved in the tough economic decisions. What details should we choose to retain the soul of the project? And this is why we’ve also chosen to manage our own projects, be our own developer. We want to make clear, simple and attractive housing. Housing that everyone can understand and that is sustainable from a life cycle perspective.

Together with another company, we have founded the property development venture Arketyphus, whose ambition is to build sustainable housing. Our first project together is Torparlängan, seven blocks of semi-detached houses that create a total of 14 owner-occupied properties. The homes will be built on the shore of Södra Bergundasjön, a stone’s throw from central Växjö on the road to Linnaeus University.

The layout is flexible and can easily be converted into two households. We make use of natural materials in the structure and interior, which establishes a good indoor climate and a distinct character. We’ve prioritised building the frame in CLT for a modern interpretation of the log cabin. The floors and walls are made from exposed CLT. The façade and roof are clad in heat-treated ash shingles.

To us, wood is a timeless material that harks back to our origins and gives a warm embrace. Wood has a lovely scent, it is pleasant to be around, soft to the touch and it reduces sound.

We see wood as a natural construction material and we have a long tradition of small-scale projects in wood. However, technical advances in this area are paving the way for traditional Småland housebuilders to step up a gear and move into new markets and industrial production of wooden buildings.


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