Creating a statistically desirable dwelling: Two million Swedes crowdsourced this house and didn’t even know it

Architecture Interiors International Newsletter
(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

Your every click adds to a goldmine of consumer information marketers cadge—and now architects can cash in, too. Swedish architecture firm Tham & Videgard created renderings of the country’s most desirable home based on metrics wrangled from 200 million clicks on 86,000 properties on sale between January and October 2014 on Hemnet, Sweden’s most popular property website.

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

Through data analytics, the firm gleaned homebuyer preferences relating to the size of the home, price, number of rooms, bathrooms, and floors, and even top-ranking kitchen countertop material.

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

The resulting construct reconciles two iconic types of Swedish house. A red wooden cottage represents history, local resources, and craftsmanship, while the white box stands for modernity, optimism, and industrial development. The facade is made of standard wooden boarding mounted onto a curved nailing batten backing that references Sweden’s detailed timber architecture. Wave-shaped panels painted in traditional falu red create an enhanced depth and shadow effect.

Far removed from the proverbial lavish castle dream home, the 1,291-square-foot cottage features 1.5 floors within a cubic volume. Statistics indicate a desire for a balcony and open kitchen, which, in the Hemnet House, has been interpreted as the social nucleus of the house.

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

On average, most-clicked properties had 3.8 bedrooms and a kitchen. Tham & Videgard rounded it up to four bedrooms and an open kitchen. According to the firm, people want “a living room in the kitchen rather than a kitchen in the living room. That’s why a large social kitchen with double-height ceilings is the heart of the Hemnet Home.”

Stone countertops and white kitchen cabinetry recurred frequently in top searches, and thus in Hemnet House’s design. In the living room, meanwhile, neutral and natural-colored sofas elicited 75 percent of clicks, while white-toned walls proved a favorite in two out of three properties. Fifty-four percent of homes had at least one fireplace—either a tiled stove, iron stove, or open fireplace.

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

A partially enclosed rooftop terrace is inscribed within the cube, providing a sunny private area protected from the wind. The terrace “can be converted into an extra room or conservatory,” architect Martin Videgard said. “Balcony” was the most popular search term on Hemnet in 2014, with surveyed properties featuring an average of 0.95 balconies or rooftop terraces. A single large window in each room and higher-than-average ceilings begets a simple, energy-efficient construction filled with daylight and a spacious interior.

The home sports a hypothetical asking price of $330,000, and can be easily reconfigured and expanded to welcome additional family members by adding a roof over the terrace or a second floor over the kitchen.

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

(Courtesy Tham & Videgard)

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