It’s not a flat-pack home but still high in volume and low in price
The Skanska-IKEA home concept BoKlok is Skanska hardware with a typical IKEA interior design twist. BoKlok (Live Smart) is designed for the smart, not for the rich. These affordable, modern homes are meant for the multitudes.
Sold at IKEA, BoKlok is as close to a flat-pack home as you can get. Developed and built by Skanska, the homes are manufactured in an industrialized way that supports lean construction. Every piece fits, and there is no trace of bling.
It all started in the mid 1990s when Skanska’s former President Melker Schörling and IKEA’s founding father Ingvar Kamprad decided to offer quality homes to nurses, sales clerks, single parents and young families still at university.
Skanska’s developer Inger Olsson and IKEA’s interior designer Madeleine Nobs, assisted by architect Gunn Ahlström, took on the challenge to realize the goal. They were eager to start but did not hit the drawing board directly. Instead, they asked. “How much can a nurse afford to spend on a home?”
The answer, about SEK 3,000/month at the time. This set the financial framework. Then the trio started drawing.
High in volume, low in price
BoKlok was designed the IKEA way – large volumes, low prices and industrialized production. In other words, repetition – cut prices and save time in planning. Efficiency is essential and the production plant in Gullringen, Sweden, is crucial.
The aim was also to use space efficiently – every corner should be useful. And the standard should be high – full of light through large windows, using natural and sound materials such as wood. In 1997, the first BoKlok areas were completed in Helsingborg, Stockholm, Örebro and Sundsvall. They were all a success. The daily papers as well as top design magazines raved about the first flat-pack homes. On several occasions people were queuing at the IKEA stores for a BoKlok apartment.
Version 7.0 on its way
Today’s BoKlok has advanced through six versions from the prototype. For example, the row houses, BoKlok Radhus, were recently launched. But the basic idea remains. It should be affordable for those with a moderate income and it should have a nice feel and atmosphere. With this in mind, continuous improvements have been made. Products and processes are continuously developed hand-in-hand.
Inger Olsson recalls the IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad always asking homebuyers: “What can we do better?”
“This is something I have carried with me ever since – listen to the users and buyers. There is always room for improvement.”
Recently, a more energy-efficient BoKlok was launched. It is almost 30 percent better (about 80 kWh/sq m/year) than Swedish norms for standard housing and an optional add-on package reduces energy consumption to 60 kWh/sq m/year.
To date, more than 5,000 BoKlok homes have been developed, built and sold, most of them in municipalities all over Sweden, with a small number in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom. Homebuyers in Poland may be next to being offered the BoKlok opportunity.
Will the Swedish wood style be modified for international markets?
“We will adjust to local preferences. For example, land is more expensive in the UK, so we’ll probably have to build taller apartment blocks to be able to stick to our reasonable prices,” says Jonas Spangenberg, President of BoKlok Housing, owned by Skanska. (Since the beginning, the BoKlok concept has been co-owned by Skanska and IKEA).
Client: Municipalities and private persons
Year of launching: 1997
Number of units sold: More than 5,000
Learn more at: www.boklok.com
01. BoKlok is a home concept based around the idea of “modern homes for the masses”. It all started back in the 1990s, when Skanska’s former President Melker Schörling and IKEA’s Ingvar Kamprad decided to offer affordable, stylish homes to a wider target group.
02. A groundbreaking concept in housing – More than 5,000 BoKlok homes have been built since the concept’s launch, spanning Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany and the UK.
03. An autumn day in Linköping – The Dungen district features BoKlok’s Möckeln houses.