If you strive towards some form of happiness in your life and love a good bargain, then Happycheap sounds like a perfect fusion of these two objectives. Happycheap is a recent enterprise by Swedish architect Tommy Carlsson. A quick search on Carlsson does not reveal too much about the architect, apart from a couple of websites—all in Swedish. I am sure that his name will be wider known soon enough, as more people find out about, and hop on board with, the Happycheap scheme. The idea emerged from the realisation that the only quality, beautifully designed homes in Sweden (and elsewhere, I imagine) fall into the unattainably expensive category for the average folk. Cheaper housing is seldom architecturally designed or aesthetically pleasing. Carlsson aims to fill this gap in providing well-built, beautiful homes that are affordable, making an impression in cookie-cutter suburbia.
The Stockholm house, situated by the Swedish seaside, is the first iteration of the Happycheap home. The house looks plain and unassuming from the outside, with its corrugated metal exterior and simple angular form. Inside, it is surprisingly spacious and light. The interior is out-clad almost entirely in thrifty plywood. It’s not a material I am accustomed to seeing floor-to-ceiling, but in conjunction with white walls, grey kitchen and splashes of blue throughout the home it looks homely and warm. The blue-stained plywood ceiling in the study is a fun touch. A staircase in the middle of the building leads to the second story, with open-plan living on both levels.
The Happycheap website offers a choice of three different house plans, of which this is the largest, at 110 square meters. A detailed breakdown of materials and costs for each option follows, it’s good to see this level of transparency. I’d happily settle in one of these abodes! Check out his website for more details, though you’d better speak Swedish or have Google Translate on hand.
Photography: Michael Perlmutter (7&11) and Andy Liffner (2—6, 8—10)